Reuters: Iran, under fire from the big powers over its atomic programme, on Friday criticised Britain’s plans to renew its nuclear arsenal as a “serious setback” to international disarmament efforts. LONDON (Reuters) – Iran, under fire from the big powers over its atomic programme, on Friday criticised Britain’s plans to renew its nuclear arsenal as a “serious setback” to international disarmament efforts.
“Britain does not have the right to question others when they’re not complying with their obligations” under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said at a conference.
Parliament backed Prime Minister Tony Blair’s plans to renew the country’s Trident nuclear weapons system on Wednesday. Opposition votes helped Blair survive a major rebellion by members of his own party.
Some within the Labour party had argued that the decision to renew Trident would send the wrong message to states such as Iran and North Korea, which have drawn strong international pressure over their own nuclear programmes.
Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful, not to make weapons, but faces new U.N. sanctions after refusing to halt potentially weapons-related nuclear fuel work.
“It is very unfortunate that the UK, which is always calling for non-proliferation … not only has not given up the weapons but has taken a serious step towards further development of nuclear weapons,” Soltanieh told a conference examining the Trident decision.