A senior lawmaker said the subcritical nuclear test recently conducted in Nevada by the US is an instance of snubbing the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“The US does whatever it wants because it has a veto power and the country’s recent nuclear test was a snub to the UN and the IAEA,” Ismail Kowsari said on Sunday.
“The US conducted this dangerous test as the IAEA is pursuing the elimination of unconventional weapons in the world particularly in the Middle East following a proposal by Iran,” Press TV quoted the legislator as saying.
On Wednesday, the US--the only country to ever use atomic bombs--conducted a subcritical nuclear test, known as Pollux, in Nevada.
The test was carried out jointly by the Nevada National Security Site, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories on Wednesday. The aim was to study the behavior of nuclear materials without triggering an atomic explosion. It was its first test since February last year.
The US National Nuclear Security Administration said the 27th experiment was conducted to ensure that Washington ‘can support a safe, secure and effective stockpile’ of nuclear weapons.
The parliamentarian said by conducting the test, Washington wanted to show that it is above the UN and law.
Kowsari added that Iran had called for a change to the UN structure so that a country such as the US could not consider itself above others, urging the United Nations to respond to these actions.
According to UN figures, the US, which is the only country that has ever used atomic bombs against other countries, has conducted 1,032 nuclear tests since 1945.
A member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission called on the international community to condemn Washington’s latest nuke test.
“International organizations that proclaim support for human rights should condemn the recent US nuclear test,” lawmaker Mansour Haqiqatpour said, adding, “Definitely, world bodies will keep silent on this US move because they are US puppets and cannot say a word.”
He hailed Iran as the ‘only current that can stand up against’ the United States.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Haqiqatpour accused Washington of hypocrisy, noting how it attempts to look democratic and humanitarian, while it is ‘the greatest violator of human rights’.
The lawmaker also criticized the international community’s double standards regarding nuclear activities of other countries.
“While the Islamic Republic of Iran needs [uranium] enrichment for curing patients, it is accused of making nuclear arms but the US easily test fires its nuclear missiles and no one in the world protests,” he said.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Tehran also argues that the IAEA’s numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities have never found any evidence of Iran’s civilian nuclear program being diverted to nuclear weapons production.
Setback to World Peace
Another MP Mohammad Hassan Asafari also denounced the US nuclear test, saying the move threatened world peace.
“The nuclear test the US has recently conducted in the Nevada desert undermines international peace,” Asafari said.
The test ‘proves that the global arrogance pays particular attention to producing and proliferating weapons of mass destruction’, he stated.
The United States has done nothing for the campaign for total nuclear disarmament and is even making efforts to scuttle the international conference on a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East, he opined.
And the US is well aware that Iran is playing a leading role in the efforts to make the Middle East a nuclear-weapons-free zone and will pursue the goal at international forums until world peace is established, he added.
Israeli-Azeri Drones on Spy Missions
Azerbaijan is operating drones assembled with the help of Israeli experts to carry out spying missions over its common borders with Iran and Karabakh.
According to a Press TV report, following a rise in US radar activities in the Astara Rayon region of Azerbaijan as well as the presence of Israeli military advisors in the country, Azerbaijan has been using Orbiter ultra-light drones assembled with the help of Israeli experts to carry out operations along the border with Iran and Karabakh.
Iranian military experts say Azerbaijan also uses Hermes-450 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for control and surveillance missions.
Israel has sold 10 Hermes-450 drones, manufactured by Elbit Systems, to Azerbaijan between 2009 and 2012.
The Hermes-450 UAVs are equipped with GPS, which means they can also provide an outside observer with satellite images sent by the drone.
In 2009, reports released by certain media regarding an agreement between Israeli President Shimon Peres and his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, on the deployment of electronic stations confirmed that Azerbaijan and Israel were cooperating on satellite systems.
According to experts, Israeli satellites are closely cooperating with Azeri drones, though they have a long way to go before attaining the ideal level.
The Hermes-450 UAVs can be equipped with offensive systems such as air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles as well as electronic warfare equipment. However, their limited range of mission, which is up to 200-300 kilometers, has restricted their use for operational and strategic purposes.
Israel and Azerbaijan have signed a $1.6 billion deal to sell Heron and Searcher offensive drones to Baku to make up for that limitation.
Waivers Indicative Of Washington’s Defeat
A senior Iranian parliamentarian said the US move to reconsider its oil ban against the Islamic Republic is yet another proof of Washington’s failure in its anti-Iran agenda.
“The US reconsideration of [its] oil sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran indicates another defeat for Americans in imposing economic sanctions and pressure against our country,” Deputy Chairman of Majlis Energy Commission Nasser Soudani said on Saturday.
Soudani described the idea of excluding some countries from the illegal sanctions as a gateway for a disgraced Washington after it failed to harm the Iranian economy, recalling that nearly 70 refineries across Europe depend on Iranian oil, IRNA reported.
Abiding by the US-engineered sanctions on the major OPEC member would require European states to either buy Iranian crude through a third party and incur extra expenses or change their refinery structure, which is not feasible in the short run, he explained.
He also emphasized that the US allies are facing increasing criticism at home where people question their governments’ use of medical and food sanctions as a lever to pressure opponents.
On Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that nine countries have been granted extended waivers of Washington’s sanctions against Iran. The move follows a similar action in September, in which the US exempted 11 countries from the sanctions.
Reports say, China, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan have been added to the list of countries exempt from the sanctions for another six months.
The move follows a similar action on September 14, in which the US exempted Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and Japan from complying with the sanctions on Iran’s oil industry for another 180 days.
At the beginning of 2012, the US and the European Union imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors with the goal of preventing other countries from purchasing Iranian oil and conducting transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.
The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a signatory to Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Tehran also draws on numerous IAEA inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, which have invariably failed to find any evidence showing that Tehran’s nuclear energy program has been diverted toward military objectives.
Oil Exemptions Dismissed
Meanwhile, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission downplayed the United States’ move to grant several countries exemptions from the illegal sanctions on Tehran.
“The nine countries to which the US has granted exemptions from oil sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran are among Tehran’s main oil buyers, whose interests are in buying oil from Iran; and on this basis, regardless of Washington’s decisions, they will continue with economic exchanges with Iran,” Avaz Heidarpour said.
He added that the White House decision would have no impact on Iran’s trade exchanges.
The legislator said the US is engineering the oil sanctions that have been used as a pressure lever against Iran over the recent decade in order to maintain its own hegemony, adding that Washington’s policies would bear no fruit.
Heidarpour noted that the countries that buy Iran’s crude oil cannot change the system and mechanism of their oil facilities; so, they continue their ties with Iran.
The West’s sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran would not damage the country but would affect the countries that are imposing the bans, he pointed out.
Air Force to Use Indigenous Jets For Training
A deputy commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force said that the IRIAF is manufacturing two jets for pilot training, adding that the new planes will come into operation soon.
Speaking to Fars News Agency on Sunday, Iranian Air Force Deputy Commander for Training General Manouchehr Yazdani said Iran has a good squadron of pilot training jets.
“Right now projects are underway in collaboration with the defense industry and defense ministry to make more pilot training jets available,” Yazdani underscored.
“Kowsar 88 and Azarakhsh training jets are among the projects that are underway. Conceptual studies have been conducted and the blueprints have been fully prepared and we are witnessing very good progress in this field,” he stated.
“Similar to ‘Saeqeh’ (Thunderbolt), these jets will come into operation soon,” Yazdani stated.
In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in the defense sector and gained self-sufficiency in essential military hardware and defense systems.
The country has repeatedly made it clear that its military might is merely based on the state’s defense doctrine of deterrence and that it poses no threat to other countries.
Gazans Naming Newborns After Fajr
Palestinian parents in the Gaza strip are naming their newborn babies after Iranian-made Fajr-5 rockets as a way to show gratitude to the Islamic Republic for its support during the recent eight-day Israeli war.
Muhammad Al-Shafi’i Abu Nassat, a Gazan father named his newborn baby Fajr on Friday to show his appreciation to Iran for providing the resistance with the rockets that ‘struck the enemy for eight days’, Gazan Media reported.
In northern Gaza, a Palestinian mother also named her child Fajr, saying she picked the name even before she went into labor last week.
Amira Abu Assus said that her child would have ‘a bright future within the Palestinian resistance. He would carry the rockets whose names he bears so as to free Palestine from Israeli occupation’.
Iran supplied the Palestinian resistance movement with the technology to develop Fajr-5 rockets, which hit Tel Aviv and Beit-ul-Moqaddas.
The rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip in response to an Israeli onslaught on the besieged territory from November 14 to 21, 2012, in which over 160 Palestinians, including women and children, were killed and about 1,200 others were injured.
On November 21, Egypt announced that the Israeli regime and the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, had reached a ceasefire agreement under which the Palestinians and Israelis agreed to end all hostilities.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli blockade since June 2007, which has resulted in mass unemployment, extreme poverty and food price hikes.
The Israeli regime has repeatedly refused to lift the Gaza Strip blockade.
Quake Hits Kerman
An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale jolted the town of Faryab in southeastern Kerman province on Sunday.