Tehran: Israel’s “200 nuclear warheads” must first be part of Middle East disarmament

Iran has posted a new package of “proposals” to the West in response to its offer of engagement on Tehran’s nuclear activities. Foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said the “comprehensive and updated” package aims to prepare the ground for more “fluid interaction” with the West. “But we cannot speak of a Middle East without nuclear weapons without discussing the more than 200 nuclear warheads of the Zionist regime Israel,” he said. This is “based on an international approach.”
debkafile‘s Iranian sources report that the point of the new package, whose contents have been transferred piecemeal to Washington and some European capitals, is for Tehran to retain the whip hand in any forthcoming negotiations by posting demands but no concessions.
Qashqavi’s words were the corollary to first statement made by the new head of the Iranian nuclear energy commission Ali Akbar Salehi after his appointment Saturday, July 18. He said the time had come to end six years of animosity between Tehran and the West and start building bridges of trust. But he also said: “legal and technical discussions about Iran’s nuclear case have finished and there is no room left to keep this case open.”
Qashqavi’s statement is the Islamic Republic’s typical way of launching a hardball game with the West by a demand to dismantle Israel’s never-confirmed nuclear arsenal without making any promises about Iran’s nuclear program, or even the uranium enrichment activities banned by the UN Security Council. In fact, he persisted in denying that Tehran had any plan to develop nuclear weaponry.
The foreign ministry spokesman also mentioned another price for dialogue with the West: “Iran’s proposed package will suggest solutions to the economic crisis based on the principles of the Islamic economy,” he said.

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