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Nuclear weapons resolution must be enforced equally
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09:43, September 29, 2009

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The United Nations Security Council resolution on nuclear disarmament unanimously adopted last week marks an historic opportunity to set the foundations for a Middle East free from atomic weapons, said the secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) here on Monday.

But Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said that the U.S.-drafted resolution will be a failure if it does not hold every country accountable by the same standards.

It is well documented that Israel has a sizeable stockpile of nuclear warheads with some estimates ranging near 200 warheads but has neither confirmed nor denied their existence and refuses to allow inspectors in from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as Israel has never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

When questioned whether Israel should open its doors to IAEA inspectors as a show of good faith under the newly adopted resolution, Ihsanoglu said it was something the international community must consider.

"If we think that Security Council resolutions will exempt others, or exempt some, and if it has more than one yard stick, that will be reasons for failure," he told reporters. "We have a fresh, strong commitment will from all permanent and non-permanent members. We look forward that everyone will abide."

In another part of the Middle East region, Iran faces possible sanctions if it refuses to address unanswered questions about it nuclear program, particularly in light of a newly publicized uranium enrichment facility near Tehran.

Iran, which is a signatory of the NPT, maintains its program is for peaceful purposes only.

Ihsanoglu, who flies to Washington D.C on Tuesday to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, did not single out any particular country but urged nations to fully engage with the IAEA.

He highlighted a statement from the resolution, which calls upon countries "to conclude safeguards, agreements and an additional protocol with IAEA, so that the IAEA can be in a position to carry out all of the inspections necessary to ensure that materials and technology from peaceful nuclear uses are not used to support weapons programs."

The OIC, which was established in 1969 after the burning of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, speaks on behalf of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims.

"We would love to see the Muslim world as a free nuclear zone," said Ihsanoglu, noting that Central Asia is already nuclear free as part of an "exemplary" initiative led by Kazakhstan.

Source: Xinhua

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