Monday, 19 November, 2018

Iran: US threatening Russian Federation with new nuclear weapons

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Washington's new nuclear policy was'in violation of the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty. John Thys  AFP Iran: US threatening Russian Federation with new nuclear weapons
Gerardo Duncan | 06 February, 2018, 15:30

Iran accused the United States of threatening Russian Federation with new atomic weapons, after the Trump administration published a document outlining plans to expand its nuclear capabilities in order to deter others.

Weaver said the most hard task for those working on the review was trying to address the gap between Russian and American non-strategic nuclear weapons.

The US accusations against Moscow set out in the latest Nuclear Posture Review "have nothing do with reality", the ministry stressed, adding that Washington uses its trademark anti-Russian rhetoric to justify its own "large-scale nuclear weapons buildup".

To respond to emerging threats to US and its allies' security, the NPR specifically proposed the development for new models of "low-yield" weapons, which it said would be essential for a "flexible" nuclear arsenal that can enhance deterrence.

Foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier warned in a tweet that the USA policy risked "bringing humankind closer to annihilation".

On Iran, the review said the main goal was to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said the U.S. decision showed "the spiral of a new nuclear arms race is already under way" and added that Europe was, much like during the cold war, especially vulnerable.

What exactly is the new U.S. policy?

The Foreign Ministry said Russian Federation is well within the treaty's limitations of 1,550 strategy nuclear warheads and 700 deployed launchers.

"We hope that the United States will abandon its Cold War mentality, earnestly assume its special disarmament responsibilities, correctly understand China's strategic intentions and objectively view China's national defence and military build-up", its statement said.

Gabriel called for "existing arms control treaties to be upheld unconditionally". It specifically points to a Russian doctrine known as "escalate to de-escalate", in which Moscow would use or threaten to use smaller-yield nuclear weapons in a limited, conventional conflict in Europe in the belief that doing so would compel the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to back down.

The issue has been rediscovered by politicians in the wake of Trump's election. "Trump's obduracy in killing the #JCPOA stems from the same risky imprudence", Zarif in a message posted on his official Twitter account on Saturday. Trump did not re-certify the deal, but extended sanctions waivers, and said he would not do so again the next time they come up for renewal, in May, unless his concerns are addressed.

The ultimatum put pressure on European Union powers - key backers and parties to the 2015 global agreement to curb Iranian nuclear ambition.

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