Iranian FM urges world powers to scrap nuke weapons

Total elimination of nuclear weapons 'only absolute guarantee against' their use, says Javad Zarif

Baku. 28 April. REPORT.AZ/ Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Monday urged countries possessing nuclear weapons to ditch any plans to extend the life span of their nuclear arsenal.

"The continued existence of nuclear weapons poses the greatest threat to humanity," Zarif said at the start of a month-long conference on the global anti-nuclear weapons treaty.

Report informs referring to the foreign media, any use or threat of use of nuclear weapons would constitute "a crime against humanity," he said, while speaking on behalf of the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement that seeks to represent the political and economic interests of developing countries.

He said total elimination "is the only absolute guarantee against such use or threat of use."

China, France, Russia, UK, and the U.S. – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council –are officially recognized as possessing nuclear weapons by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the world's primary nuclear disarmament pact.

Russia and the U.S. possess more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads.

"We call upon the nuclear-weapon states to immediately cease their plans to further invest in modernizing and extending the life span of their nuclear weapons and related facilities," Zarif said.

Iran, accused by western powers of developing nuclear weapons, says its uranium-enrichment program is entirely peaceful.

Earlier this month, Iran and the P5+1 countries - U.S., Russia, UK, France, China plus Germany - reached a framework deal that envisages Tehran curbing its nuclear activity in exchange for sanctions relief. The parties have until June 30 to reach a final agreement.

Zarif also said the non-aligned states viewed the acquisition of nuclear capability by Israel as "a serious and continuing threat to the security of neighboring and other states."

Israel, which has not signed the global nuclear non-proliferation agreement, is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons.

Zarif urged Israel to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, accede to the pact and promptly lace all its nuclear facilities under the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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