Iran and Israel have had a long history of animosity towards one another, with the idea of peaceful interactions between the countries seemingly impossible for a long time. Now, Iran has said they hope that Israel will consider signing a nuclear treaty that will disarm them.
Recently affirmed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said this week that he urges Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Rouhani says that he hopes the entire Middle East will work together in disarming themselves of nuclear weapons and that this will hopefully bring peace to the region.
“As long as nuclear weapons exist, the threat of their use exists,” said Rouhani. In his speech to the UN General Assembly, he made clear that if the Middle East is to become a nuclear-free zone, then Israel has to sign the treaty because it is the only country in the region that has yet to sign it.
Rouhani also said, in his address, that the use of nuclear weapons by any country is a crime against humanity and that nuclear disarmament has been a long time coming.
“Almost four decades of international efforts to establish nuclear weapon-free zones have regrettably failed," he said. "Urgent, practical steps toward the establishment of such a zone are necessary. The international community has to redouble efforts in support of the establishment of this zone."
Israel has responded to Iran’s message, saying that it believes that the country is not genuine in its campaign to disarm the region and that this is simply a diversion from Iran’s own nuclear program.
“The man is an expert with tricks," said Israeli official Yuval Steinitz. "Instead of saying that Iran will finally comply with the Security Council resolutions, it tries to shift attention to Israel.”
Still, Iran maintains that its intentions are genuine, and that disarmament of the Middle East is an important step.