TEHRAN — An Iranian-hosted international disarmament conference concluded yesterday with a demand that Israel join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to assure a nuclear weapons-free Middle East.
The two-day conference followed closely behind a 47-nation nuclear security conference hosted by President Obama in Washington last week, which excluded Iran and nuclear-armed North Korea. Washington and its allies suspect Iran’s nuclear program is geared toward producing weapons, which Tehran denies.
As the conference was ending yesterday, Iran staged an annual military parade, where it displayed missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The forum, which Iran said was attended by representatives of 60 countries, gave Tehran a platform for challenging Washington’s assertion that it wants to see a world without nuclear weapons and for defending its own nuclear program.
It criticized what it called a double-standard by some nuclear powers that urge disarmament while ignoring the nuclear arsenal Israel is widely believed to possess.
Israel, which does not confirm or deny possessing nuclear arms, has refused to sign the treaty, which would require it to open up its nuclear facilities to international inspectors.