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Iran: All Nuclear Weapons Must Be Destroyed

Accusations from Israel, US are 'laughing matter,' says Iran spokesman

Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Iranian workers in front of the Bushehr nuclear power plant. (Stringer/Iran/Reuters)

Following news of a successful North Korean nuclear weapons test on Tuesday, officials from Iran called for the end to all atomic weapons around the world.

"We need to come to the point where no country has any nuclear weapons and at the same time all weapons of mass destruction and nuclear arms need to be destroyed," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told state news agency IRNA.

Mehmanparast also said that much of Iran's higher-grade enriched uranium is once again being converted into reactor fuel to be used for energy production.

Iran has been hit by a series of U.S. lead sanctions and continual threats of war from Israel over claims that its nuclear energy program is being used to develop nuclear weapons, despite a consistent lack of viable evidence. The U.S. and Israel, on the other hand, both have substantial nuclear weapons stockpiles—the U.S. with the greatest arsenal in the world.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed on Monday that Tehran is moving closer to the "red line" of nuclear weapon capability.

In his comments, Mehmanparast emphasized that these persistent accusations are a "laughing matter" coming from a country that has "illegally stockpiled nuclear warheads."

"They threaten to use these nuclear warheads against other countries," he said, adding that Israel was the "biggest obstacle" to the creation of a nuclear-free Middle East.

Mehmanparast added that Iran is ready to allow IAEA nuclear inspectors to visit their Parchin military site to check for nuclear weapons, as long as world powers recognize Tehran's right to enrich uranium for fuel.

Iran will be meeting with the P5+1 group (the US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) in international nuclear talks on February 26 in Kazakhstan.

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