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Nuclear weapons no longer a deterrent: Iranian official

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Tehran nuclear disarmament conference secretary Mehdi Akhoundzadeh has elaborated on three central themes of the meeting.

The Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for No One conference, which will be held in the Iranian capital from April 17 to 18, will revolve around three major themes, namely challenges of nuclear disarmament, international commitments toward nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and practical approaches for the realization of nuclear disarmament, he said here on Wednesday.

On the level of participation in the conference, Akhoundzadeh, who is also the Iranian deputy foreign minister, said representatives of over 70 countries have accepted Iran's invitation, including 14 foreign ministers and 10 deputy ministers.

In addition, representatives of eight major international organizations and a host of experts also plan to attend the conference, he stated.

He described the Tehran conference on nuclear disarmament as the first in a series of such conferences which will be held in the future across the globe.

He went on to say that the opponents of nuclear disarmament will try to undermine the Tehran conference.

This is a test for the so-called proponents of nuclear disarmament, and certain states will try to prejudice the outcome of the conference, revealing their true colors to the world, Akhoundzadeh added.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister also said that the Tehran conference has a humanitarian objective.

"The assumption that nuclear weapons are a deterrent is archaic. Given the fundamental transformation in international relations, nations look forward to peace and security. Thus, insistence on (possessing) nuclear weapons is not considered a wise move," he observed.

Commenting on the Washington summit on nuclear security, Akhoundzadeh said the summit was more focused on nuclear terrorism than on nuclear disarmament.

At the summit on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said vulnerable stockpiles of nuclear weapons should be dismantled or safeguarded against theft by terrorists.

Akhoundzadeh advised the U.S. government to revise its policy on nuclear weapons, saying, "The U.S. position and the Washington summit are not in line with public opinion."

Tehran disarmament conference first step to revise NPT

Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Director Ali-Akbar Salehi has said that the nuclear disarmament conference in Tehran should become a preamble for revising the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Ali-Akbar Salehi

"I hope that the results of the Tehran disarmament conference prepare the ground... for revisions in the NPT," Salehi told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Salehi added that the upcoming conference will focus on disarmament, non-proliferation, and the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

The conference will also prepare the ground for revising the unjust ratifications included in the NPT, he said.

The AEOI director added that the major powers have generally focused on the non-proliferation part of the NPT and totally ignored the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the disarmament part of the NPT.

The major powers have utilized this strategy to extend pressure on countries like Iran, he noted.

Salehi stated that over 60 countries will be present in the conference and a high ranking official from the International Atomic Energy Agency will also attend the Tehran conference.

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