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News number: 9106062894

12:41 | 2012-09-11

Nuclear

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UN Invites Iran to Helsinki Conference on Nuclear-Free Middle East

TEHRAN (FNA)- Representative of the UN Secretary General Jaakko Laajava held talks with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh in Tehran on Monday, and invited Iran to attend the upcoming conference on the nuclear-free Middle East in Finland.



During the meeting, Laajava, who is also the Finish Undersecretary of State for Foreign and Security Policy and has been named as the facilitator of the 2012 Middle East Conference, pointed to Iran's strategic importance in the region and called for the country's participation in the conference which is scheduled to take place in Helsinki, in December.

He pointed out that the conference will be held for the first time on the basis of the decision made during the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2010.

Akhoundzadeh, for his part, expressed Iran's firm determination to oppose the nuclear weapons and stressed the importance of organizing a convention on the prohibition of such weapons.

Iran, an NPT-signatory, has also called for the removal of all weapons of mass destruction from across the globe.

In pursuit of global nuclear disarmament, Tehran held a conference on nuclear disarmament on April 18-19, 2010 with officials from different world countries in attendance. During the two-day conference, world officials and politicians put their heads together to address issues and concerns in connection with nuclear disarmament.

Despite Iran's compliance with the NPT, Washington and its Western allies accuse the country of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative evidence to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Political observers believe that the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran mainly over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran's nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for the other third-world countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plant.