Monday, April 19, 2010

Tehran Summit

The Azadi Monument (Freedom Monument) is a prominent landmark of modern Tehran.
The tower houses a museum celebrating Iran's cultural contributions to the world.

Tehran Summit
Urges Nuclear Free World

Al-Manar April 16, 2010

As Tehran prepares to hold an international denuclearization conference, an Iranian official said the confab aims to promote nuclear disarmament across the world. The two-day conference titled “Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for None” will open on Saturday this week.

Officials from more than 60 countries as well as delegates from various international and non-governmental entities will take part in the conference. Iranian authorities say the conference has been welcomed beyond their expectations.

The meeting aims to convey the message that the world and the Middle East in particular must be free from nuclear weapon. “We are making a platform where everybody could express his view. We would continue to send this very strong message from the capital of Iran, Tehran, the center of the Middle East, that nuclear weapons do not have a place at all in this very sensitive part of the world,” Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, told Press TV ahead of the nuclear confab.

Akhoundzadeh, who is the secretary general of the summit, said that the conference did not mean to overshadow the nuclear summit held earlier in the US. “This is a process, this is not a project. Some may think that this is to overshadow what’s going on in Washington but we don’t look at it that way,” he reiterated. He said a large number of foreign dignitaries will attend the conference.

“The turnout seems wonderful beyond our expectation. Three Arab foreign ministers and many other foreign ministers from different regions of the world will take part in this conference,” he said. “There would be a very strong presentation of NGOs (non-governmental organizations),” he added.

The meeting comes amid Western efforts to push through a fourth round of UN sanctions on Iran over its nuclear energy program.

The US and its allies accuse Iran of pursuing a nuclear weapons program but Iran rejects the accusations, saying its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

“We were the victim of chemical weapons. We don’t want the Middle East, any body, any government, any country to have nuclear weapons. We feel this is against the humanity,” he said.

The US, which possesses one of the largest nuclear weapons arsenals in the world, is the only country which has used the nuclear bomb in warfare. The mushroom clouds from the US nuclear attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still haunt people and governments around the world.

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