JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is the only obstacle to a nuclear-free Middle East, Iran charged during a conference in Tehran on nuclear disarmament.
Iran also lashed out at the United States for violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and for assisting Israel.
The Islamic Republic’s second nuclear conference is being held under the banner of "Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for None."
The conference will center on Israel’s policy of nuclear ambiguity and call on the Jewish state to sign on to the treaty. Israel is widely believed to have nuclear capabilities but has never acknowledged having nuclear arms.
"The world community should put pressure on the Zionist regime to join the NPT and allow inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Sunday, adding that “The Zionist regime is the only obstacle to the establishment of a Middle East region free from nuclear weapons.”
He also called the United States "the biggest violator of the NPT.”
Iran announced last week that it will triple its uranium enrichment capacity and expand its production of higher-level enriched uranium under the watchful eye of the International Atomic Energy Agency. While Iranian officials say that the fuel will be used to power a medical research reactor, the high level enriched uranium also can be used to arm a nuclear bomb.