Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh discusses the rejection of the 51 mostly Western countries of a resolution urging Israel — reportedly the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East — to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and allow UN inspections of its covert nuclear facilities.
The following is the transcript of Press TV’s interview with Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh in Vienna.
In the interview Soltanieh discusses the rejection by the 51 mostly Western countries of a resolution urging Israel — reportedly the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East — to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and allow UN inspections of its covert nuclear facilities.
Press TV: The exact figures are 51 against and 46 for and 23 abstentions. This is a significantly high number of abstentions. But the fact is that the proposal by the Arab and NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) countries has failed? Why do you think it did?
Soltanieh: Well, I want to, with due respect, correct you, that you should not consider and in fact assess this one as a resolution…the IAEA rejected. In fact 100 countries did not surrender to pressure by [the] United States to vote against this resolution.
This is in fact not true; this was a success for all the peace loving people of the world, that in spite of tremendous pressure and lobbying by the United States and other allies of the Israeli regime and trying to prevent such a resolution to be even tabled, it was finally done. Even until the last day, yesterday, the United States was warning the Arab countries and the Non-Aligned Movement not to table this resolution.
And I am very pleased that they did not surrender to this pressure. They tabled it and it is a part of the history of the IAEA and those who voted against this resolution, in fact they have proved that their words and conduct and actions are not consistent and do not genuinely and honestly want peace in the Middle East and they are not honest in their call for the universality for the NPT.
I think we have to congratulate the peace loving people of the world, that once again in the IAEA, the curtain was drawn and the facts were shown to the people of the whole world — that those few Western countries are telling lies. They are not honest in pursuing the universality of the NPT, and peace in the Middle East. Confrontation by all of these countries from the Non-Aligned Movement, by the United States and some few Western countries is in fact yet another dark record for them in the international community.
Press TV: Mr. Soltanieh, let’s go back one week. And talk about the so-called talks between the PA (Palestinian Authority) and Israel. The US envoy to the IAEA Glen Davies said last week that the agency is not the place for discussing Israel’s nuclear capabilities and that if they did, they would affect the direct talks. That is neither here no there…
Soltanieh: I am very pleased that you recall that statement because that is exactly what I said. In spite of the official declaration by the United States, that this issue should not be, in fact, an agenda item of the conference, and this should not be discussed in the IAEA, no body cared.
Over 100 countries adapted that this issue should be an agenda and it will be an agenda next year and therefore they didn’t even vote against this. Only those few Western countries and the allies of the Israeli regime voted against it. Therefore, I want to correct this information…which is given to the media by mistake.
Therefore, we have to congratulate this resistance to the pressure. And I want to commend the Arab brothers and others that [have] continued their resistance, and I have to say that in fact a chapter was opened last year…a general conference after 20 years… [of not having] any decision resolution for or against Israeli nuclear capability and this chapter is open and nobody can close it until Israel puts everything under the IAEA safeguard and joins the NPT.
And therefore there is no way to go back, this is irretrievable…and the United States cannot stop this trend… Over 100 peace loving countries in the Non-Aligned Movement echoed their voice unanimously that they will continue.
You will see that this trend will continue and of course, what the US and other allies of Israel did, in fact, undermined the unanimous decision of the NPT conference in New York. That was also another historical mistake because they questioned the consensus decision in New York.
Press TV: Our correspondent has talked to the Sudanese envoy who told her that the vote is another example of double standards at this UN body. To what extent do you think that votes like this will impact the credibility of the agency?
Soltanieh: You are absolutely right in raising this matter because while they (Western powers) talk about the universality of the NPT, now they oppose this resolution which causes Israel to join the NPT and take a step towards universality of the NPT. This double standard policy is now proved once again in this international organization and this is another page in history, for the whole world and the next generation as prove that the Americans and a couple of other Western countries are not honest in their words. And I think that this is also another sign, that it has in fact, created a set back for the NPT.
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