Syria has accused several United Nations member states of holding double standards regarding Israeli nuclear capabilities, which continue outside the Non-Proliferation Treaty framework, Syrian news agency SANA reported.
Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Bassam al-Sabbagh, was quoted by SANA as saying that “some U.N. member states, including nuclear powers, have clear double standards when it comes to Israel's nuclear capabilities.”
The remarks were made while speaking at the 61st Annual Regular Session of the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference in Vienna.
“It is a source of deep concern for the countries of the Middle East region that the Zionist entity, with the nuclear capabilities it possesses, remains outside the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement,” SANA quotes al-Sabbagh as saying.
Israel has never officially affirmed or denied that it has nuclear weapons, adopting a position of intentional ambiguity on the matter. However, most experts believe that they have a nuclear arsenal of at least 80 warheads.
In spite of having been placed under international pressure to do so for many years, Israel has refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty on the basis that the treaty runs counter to their national security interests. Along with India and Pakistan, they are one of three U.N. member states believed to posses nuclear weapons that have not signed the treaty.
In 2003 in the midst of the United States' invasion in Iraq on the pretext of supposedly existing weapons of mass destruction (WMD's), Syria submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council to make the Middle East a “WMD-free zone,” a resolution that would include Israel. It was the United States who ultimately opposed and rejected the proposal.
The remarks by al-Sabbagh come as the United States ramps up accusations and threats toward Iran, saying that 2015's landmark nuclear deal with the country was the "worst deal ever." In spite of the fact that Iran has repeatedly reiterated that it has only ever sought peaceful forms of nuclear technology, and has been confirmed internationally to be in compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States has accused Iran of desiring to develop nuclear arms potential.
U.S. President Donald Trump also threatened to "totally destroy" the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) if they do not stop missile and nuclear tests.