Iran Foreign Minister Blames Israel for Nuclear Program Scrutiny
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif blamed Israel for the world’s focus on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, according to Iranian semi-official news agency Mehrs on Friday.
Speaking at the Non-Aligned Movement’s 17th Ministerial Conference, entitled ‘Enhanced Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity,’ in Algeria, Zarif on Thursday railed against Israel for questioning Iran’s nuclear program, accusing the Jewish state of trying to divert public attention from its own nuclear activities.
According to Mehr, Zarif noted that Israel is not a member of Non-Proliferation Treaty, while Iran is, and claimed the Islamic Republic has always been opposed to nuclear weapons, believing that nuclear arms would threaten its national security.
Mehr reported: “Zarif held that Israel’s campaign against Iran was a tactic to divert attentions from the real threat, which is Israel itself a threat to the Middle East and the whole world.”
The Non-Aligned Movement, headed by Zarif, was created in 1961 by advocates of a middle course for states in the developing world, who are not part of the Western or Eastern blocs in the Cold War, and now make up two-thirds of the members of the United Nations.
Zarif was speaking at the conference days after Iran’s negotiations with world powers were reported to have stalled, with Tehran insistent on maintaining its enrichment rights and its ballistic missile program.
“Iran is determined to find a solution that respects the rights of the Iranian people and also clear up any misunderstandings about the sites of the Iranian nuclear program,” Zarif told reporters in Algiers on Wednesday, as reported by AFP.
At the NAM summit, Zarif nominated Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra to lead the group’s next meeting.