The Iranian flag. Picture: REUTERS/LEONHARD FOEGER
The Iranian flag. Picture: REUTERS/LEONHARD FOEGER

It is bizarre that Israel should oppose the nuclear deal that was concluded in 2015 between Iran and six powers, five of which are permanent members of the UN Security Council.  (“Iran to ramp up uranium enrichment in new blow to nuclear talks”, April 13)

Iran does not have nuclear weapons; Israel has many. Iran is a signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT); Israel is not. Iran allows inspections of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Israel does not. Iran has stated repeatedly that it is not interested in having nuclear weapons, while Israel maintains a farcical nuclear ambiguity. Iran supports the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East; Israel does not. Israel accuses Iran of terrorism, but has itself been involved in numerous acts of terrorism in the region and beyond. 

Yet diplomatic pressure and sanctions continue to be applied on Iran, while Israel remains exculpate.

In negotiating with Iran, it would be fitting for Germany, the sixth member of the negotiating team, to remind the five permanent members of the UN Security Council that negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that they themselves are engaged in modernising their nuclear arsenals or stockpiling nuclear warheads in violation of their commitments as signatories to the NPT; that in conducting their nuclear tests they have contaminated huge areas of our planet; that two of them (Britain and France) assisted Israel’s nuclear programme; and that one member (the US) under its 2018 Nuclear Posture Review reserves the right to use nuclear weapons even against non-nuclear weapon states. 

On January 22, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force. Not a single one of the existing nine nuclear states has signed the treaty, and as yet not one has expressed its intention to accede to the treaty. 

Rather than negotiating a new nuclear deal with Iran, it is preferable that a nuclear weapon-free zone be established in the Middle East. Unfortunately, this cannot happen as long as an ethnic and insecure nuclear state exists in the region. Thus, just as was the case with apartheid SA, it is high time for a concerted mobilisation of international support for the decolonisation of Israel so that the region can rid itself of nuclear weapons.  

Finally, Iran should introduce an international hypocrisy prize to be awarded annually to the sanctimonious nuclear powers that oppose its peaceful civilian nuclear programme. 

Gunvant Govindjee, Ormonde 

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