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The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has overwhelmingly approved an Iranian-authored resolution advocating global nuclear disarmament, a U.N. official told the Washington Free Beacon on Monday.
The UNGA’s First Committee, which deals with disarmament issues, voted 113-52 in favor of Iran’s nuclear disarmament resolution, which calls for “the total elimination” of member states’ nuclear arsenals, according to a copy of the draft resolution published in the Iranian press.
Fifty-two member states, including the United States and Israel, voted against the disarmament measure, according to a vote tally provided by the U.N. Seven nations, including China and Pakistan, abstained from the vote, which took place on Thursday.
Iran’s state-run media hailed the U.N.’s approval, which it claimed took place “despite the opposition of the U.S., the Zionist regime, and a number of western countries.”
The measure passed just days before Iran was scheduled to meet with Western negotiators for another round of nuclear talks in Geneva.
Western nuclear experts warn that Iran could be just months, if not weeks, away from achieving what they call a nuclear breakout capability. It could have a nuclear weapon by mid-2014 and has significantly upgraded its uranium enrichment capabilities, according to experts.
Iran was appointed to serve as a member of the U.N.’s Committee on Disarmament earlier this month. The committee is chaired by Libya.
Iran’s recently approved disarmament resolution calls on all countries to adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and submit to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.
Iran reminds signers of the NPT and other international treaties that they have committed to “the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals leading to nuclear disarmament,” according to the resolution.
Iran advocates that “further efforts … be made by the nuclear-weapon states to reduce their nuclear arsenals unilaterally,” according to the draft resolution.
Iran goes on to call for “increased transparency by the nuclear-weapon states with regard to nuclear weapons capabilities,” as well as and “a voluntary confidence-building measure to support further progress in nuclear disarmament,” according to the resolution.
The resolution also supports a “diminishing role for nuclear weapons in security policies so as to minimize the risk that these weapons will ever be used and to facilitate the process of their total elimination”
U.N.-affiliated nuclear weapons inspectors and other Western officials have chastised Iran for preventing them from visiting their disputed nuclear sites and for obfuscating its nuclear work.
Iranian officials have advocated for nuclear disarmament in public addresses delivered over the past few months.
“All countries are duty-bound to start serious negotiations on nuclear disarmament,” Gholam Hossein Dehqani, Iran’s deputy permanent representative to the U.N., said during a General Assembly meeting on Thursday.
“The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has concluded that countries are obliged to hold talks over nuclear disarmament in good faith and in order to achieve results, in such a way that all aspects of nuclear disarmament will be under efficient international supervision and control,” Dehqani was quoted as saying by Fars.
“Unfortunately, nuclear states have not lived up to this commitment yet,” he added in what appeared to be a veiled reference to Israel, which many nations suspect of possessing nuclear arms.
Mohammad Khazayee, Iran’s Permanent Representative to the UN, made a similar call for disarmament earlier this month.
“The Israeli regime, is jeopardizing regional and international peace and security and should immediately join the treaty and put all its nuclear facilities under the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” Fars reported Khazayee as saying.
Some believe that Iran is pushing the United States in negotiations to declare the Middle East a nuclear-free zone, which would subject Israel to greater pressure.
Gary Samore, who formerly served as President Barack Obama’s White House coordinator for arms control and the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) Terrorism, said the United States would never submit to such a deal.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if it turned up in the [Iranian side’s] presentation,” Samore recently said on a conference call hosted by The Israel Project. “But no, I see no evidence that the U.S. is prepared to try to resolve the overall problem in the Middle East as a way to address the Iranian nuclear issue, because that’s just too difficult.”