In UN discussion on arms control, Israeli envoy laments international inaction against Iran, Syria

October 14, 2021 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel’s Ambassador to the US and the United Nations (UN) Gilad Erdan participated in a discussion on arms control and international security at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, during which he sharply criticize Syria’s use of weapons of mass destruction and the Iranian regime constantly violating its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Gilad Erdan, in his first address to the Security Council, Oct. 26, 2020. Source: Facebook/Gilad Erdan

Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons while hindering the IAEA’s ability to obtain reliable information on Iranian sites.

Erdan criticized the UN conventions on nuclear weapons and arms as ineffective as they are repeatedly violated by Syria, Iran, and other countries.

“The Iranian nuclear program has reached a critical stage – a stage that demands the action of true leadership,” Erdan warned.

Israel believes that Iran is weeks away from accumulating the material needed for a nuclear bomb.

He pointed out that Iran has been violating its nuclear obligations for the past two years, and its violations in regard to uranium enrichment and stockpiling are “so extensive that they have completely hollowed the Iranian obligations of their essence.”

The international community’s inaction against Iranian nuclear advances “only serves to bolster Iran’s resolve to continue its flagrant violations. Coming to terms with Iran becoming a threshold nuclear state puts world peace in the balance and will remain a black stain on the history of the free world,” he warned.

The Biden administration is seeking to reengage Tehran in talks on a new nuclear agreement, while Europe is seeking to salvage the one signed in 2015, which the US under Donald Trump left.

“Iran has also violated its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards under the Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement and the Additional Protocol. We are now at the point where the IAEA Director-General recently stated that the agency can no longer maintain continuity of knowledge,” he added.

He further pointed to four cases of safeguards issues related to undeclared nuclear material in Iran, which have been under investigation for two years and have yet to be solved.

“All answers given by Iran regarding the investigation have been deemed ‘technically not credible’ by the IAEA,” he underscored.

Turning to Syria’s use of weapons of mass destruction against civilians during the civil war in the country, Erdan noted a second report on the Syrian use of chemical weapons published by the Identification and Investigation Team in April. Along with the report from April 2020, these two reports attribute responsibility for four different chemical attacks on civilians in 2017 and 2018 to the Syrian government which acceded to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and declared it would forgo its entire chemical weapons program.

“It is vital that the international community remains vigilant in dealing with this challenge of the non-compliance by Syria and also continue investigating Syria’s current abilities and activities in regard to its chemical weapons program,” he stated.

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