Iran's foreign minister says the application of double standards to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is the most serious threat to its integrity.

Addressing the UN Disarmament Conference in Geneva on Tuesday, Ali Akbar Salehi noted that while NPT member states in the Middle East are under mounting pressure to relinquish their nuclear rights, certain regimes which have not acceded to the treaty are generously encouraged.

Referring to possession of nuclear weapons by the Zionist regime of Israel, Salehi stated that the risks of possessing nuclear weapons by this regime, which is not an NPT member, has caused other regional states not to join international conventions on weapons of mass destruction.

“Discrimination, double standards, and hypocrisy are the only words which can describe the behavior of some nuclear-weapon states in the best possible manner,” he added.

“Nuclear energy is not the same as developing nuclear weapons and the rights of nations to peaceful use of the nuclear energy must be seriously taken into consideration,” Salehi said.

The Iranian foreign minister further stated that nuclear weapons have no place in Iran's defense doctrine.

“According to the fatwa [religious decree] issued by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei], building nuclear weapons is a sin and stockpiling them is both useless and dangerous,” he said.

Salehi emphasized the Iranian nation will never give up its inalienable right to peaceful use of the nuclear energy and will never give in to threats or terrorism.

The Iranian foreign minister left Tehran for Geneva on February 27, to attend the 19th UN Human Rights Council meeting.

In addition to meeting with other foreign ministers and officials attending the meeting, Salehi addressed the UN Disarmament Conference on Tuesday.

The UN Disarmament Conference, the world's sole multinational negotiating forum for disarmament, has been convened in Geneva since 1979. It comprises 65 member states including the major possessor and producer of atomic weapons, the United States, which is also the only country that has actually used the weapon of mass destruction, in raids against Japan in 1945, killing over 150,000 civilians.
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