UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reported that the world faced a nuclear threat not seen since the height of the Cold War and warned that one miscalculation could lead to the annihilation of humanity.
“We have been extremely lucky so far. But luck is not a strategy. And it is also not a defense against geopolitical tensions that could turn into a nuclear conflict. Today, humanity is separated by one miscalculation and one misunderstanding from nuclear annihilation,” reported Guterres. His words came at the beginning of the conference of countries participating in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
The Secretary-General named the conference a chance to strengthen the treaty and make it fit for a “troubled world around us,” noting Russia’s war in Ukraine and tensions on the Korean peninsula and the Middle East.
“Nearly 13,000 nuclear weapons are now stored in arsenals around the world. All this at a time when the risks of its spread are growing and the barriers to prevent escalation are weakening. The elimination of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee that they will never be used,” reported Guterres.
The Conference had been postponed several times since 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and is taking place from August 1 to 26 in New York.
During the UN speech at the conference, the Deputy Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Mykola Tochytsky stated that the UN should make efforts to close the sky over nuclear facilities in Ukraine. He explained this necessity by the growing danger to Ukrainian nuclear power plants as a result of the Russian war, as well as Russia’s blatant disregard for international treaties and nuclear security norms.
China and Russia are still interested in restoring the 2015 nuclear deal, which will enhance sanctions and decrease tensions in the region. Beijing and Moscow also have essential economic relationships with Iranian capital Tehran and stand to benefit from the stabilization of trade.
China and Russia have an active interest in the destabilizing effects of a nuclear Iran so – for them – a deal is important. Moreover, Russia and China need to balance their relationships with Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.
Iran stated that it had new ideas to restore its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after the European Union’s (EU) coordinator offered text to reach an agreement.
On July 25, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell reported that he had offered the text to restore the landmark accord, which the U.S. unilaterally abandoned in 2018.
“This text represents the best possible deal that I, as a facilitator of the negotiations, see as feasible. It is not a perfect agreement, but it addresses all essential elements and includes hard-won compromises by all sides,” Borrell wrote in an article for the Financial Times.
Later, Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani reported on Twitter that Iran had its own ideas to conclude the negotiations “both in substance and form.”
Kani did not specify the timeline for sharing the proposals. However, in recent months, Iranian authorities have emphasized that they want a sustainable agreement and guarantees that are economically beneficial for Iran.
Former US President Donald Trump applied comprehensive sanctions on Tehran. President Joe Biden promised to enhance the ex-president’s “maximum pressure” campaign even further if the deal was not restored.
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