Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Calls for ‘Middle East Free of Nuclear Weapons and WMD’

By Jon Street | September 26, 2012 | 4:36 PM EDT

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/David Karp)

( – The Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt Mohammad Morsi called for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction before the end of 2012 in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.

“Cognizant of the danger that the status quo entails on the security of this important region, with its natural resources and trade passages, Egypt stresses the necessity of mobilizing international efforts to hold the conference on achieving a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction before the end of the current year 2012, with the participation of all concerned parties without exception,” Morsi said through an English translator.

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Egypt “no longer tolerates” any country’s incompliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which gives the International Atomic Energy Agency the power to conduct inspections to make sure that U.N. States are adhering to the treaty, he said.

Morsi also said that the lack of safeguard access to nuclear facilities is not tolerated “especially if this is coupled with irresponsible policies or arbitrary threats.”

Morsi’s statements, likely aimed to address the U.N.’s concern over Iran’s nuclear weapon capabilities, came just hours after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave his speech earlier on Wednesday.

“No one feels secure or safe, even those who have stockpiled thousands of atomic bombs and other arms in their arsenals,” Ahmadinejad said.

Without addressing any concern that Iran might be developing nuclear weapons, Ahmadinejad expressed his opposition to the requirement that nations disclose their armaments.

“Arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass-destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent: Testing new generations of ultra-modern weaponry and the pledge to disclose these armaments on due time is now being used as a new language of threat against nations to coerce them into accepting a new era of hegemony,’ Ahmadinejad said.

“Continued threat by the ‘uncivilized Zionists’ [Israel] to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality,” he added.

However, Morsi did not call for a ban on all nuclear capabilities, formally recognizing that nuclear facilities can be used peacefully to develop nuclear energy.

“But we also emphasize the right of all countries of the region to the peaceful use of nuclear energy within the framework of the NPT, with a commitment to honor their obligations in this respect and provide the necessary guarantees to the countries of the region so as to remove any doubts surrounding their intentions,” Morsi said.

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