Iran says defense umbrella needed to protect against Israel

TEHRAN, July 27 (MNA) -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said on Monday that a defense umbrella is needed in the region to protect against the Zionist regime’s nuclear arsenals.

Qashqavi’s remarks came in response to the U.S. secretary of state’s recent comments about an extension of a “defense umbrella” for its allies in the Persian Gulf region.


Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Wednesday that Washington may erect a "defense umbrella" over the Middle East, if Tehran continues its nuclear program.


Qashqavi also called Israel a major threat to regional and international security. 


Israel has a large stockpile of nuclear warheads -- more than 200 nuclear warheads.


He said the elimination of Israeli nuclear warheads is the best guarantee for peace and security in the region.


Describing Iran’s nuclear activities as peaceful, he said, “All our nuclear activities are conducted under the terms of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and are closely monitored by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).”


Muslims’ rights


In response to a question on Iran’s reactions to the ethnic violence in China’s Xinjiang region and the cruel murder of an Egyptian Muslim woman in Germany, Qashqavi called such a comparison “illogical and unreasonable”.


In separate phone conversations with the Chinese foreign minister and the secretary general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki called for strong reaction to the killing of people in China, the spokesman explained


He said the Islamic Republic seeks an observation of Muslims’ rights as well as other ethnic groups.


Condemning any external interference in the internal affairs of other countries, Qashqavi conceded that such interferences would aggravate the problem.


He expressed hope that peace and security would return to the Chinese province in the near future.


Marwa al-Sherbini, a 32-year-old Egyptian who was about four months pregnant and wore the hijab, had pressed charges against her neighbor for calling her a terrorist and was set to testify against him when he stabbed her 18 times inside a courtroom in front of her 3-year-old son on July 1 in Dresden, Germany. And the China’s Xinjiang crisis has left 184 people dead. 


Iran’s package of proposals 


The spokesman said Iran is drawing up a package of proposals to present to the 5+1 group (the five permanent UN Security Council members -- the U.S., Britain, France, China, and Russia -- plus Germany) at the appropriate time.


The package of proposals that is “up-to-date, practical, and comprehensive”, will be a push for “worldwide nuclear disarmament,” Qashqavi told reporters at his weekly press briefing.


Iran joins NAM troika 


Elsewhere in his remarks, the spokesman said Iran has officially joined the NAM troika and will host the 16th NAM summit in 2012.


Iran's membership in troika was approved in Vienna to pass on the NAM presidency from Cuba to Egypt.


Calling the movement the world’s second-largest organization after the United Nation, Qashqavi said, Iran’s presidency of the NAM’s next summit is a great diplomatic achievement.


Attended by delegates from some 118 member states, the 15th NAM Summit was convened in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, from July 15-16, 2009.


On the theme of International Solidarity for Peace and Development, the summit focused mainly on the ongoing global financial crisis, climate changes, the Middle East peace process, food security, energy, terrorism, and nuclear issues.


Founded in 1955, the NAM groups account for 56% of the world population.






News Code 35042

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