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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran seeks international committee to disarm nuclear powers

RIA Novosti

24/09/2008 12:07 NEW YORK, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in his speech to the UN General Assembly that an international committee should be set up to oversee the nuclear disarmament of all countries with atomic weapons.

In his speech on Tuesday, Ahmadinejad said that his country would not give in to demands by some Western countries to cease its own nuclear program, which Iran says is aimed only at electricity generation, but that Tehran remains open to dialogue.

"The Iranian nation is ready for a dialogue, but it has not and will not meet illegal demands," he said.

He said Iran is closely cooperating with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but that: "some countries are trying to bully Iran and hinder its peaceful nuclear development through political and economic pressure on both Iran and the IAEA."

Referring to the United States, he said one of these countries "is to blame for the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki... These countries are producing new generations of deadly nuclear weapons and holding nuclear stocks inaccessible to international supervision."

The Iranian president called for a committee to be set up that would represent independent states to supervise the disarmament of these nuclear powers. He also asked the IAEA to report to the international community on monitoring these countries' denuclearization.

The IAEA said on Monday it had not been able to make substantial progress in its inquiry into the possible military aspect of Iran's nuclear program, and that the issue remained a serious concern.

The Islamic Republic is currently under three sets of relatively mild UN Security Council sanctions for defying demands to halt uranium enrichment.

Foreign ministers from the six powers engaged in the long-running nuclear talks with Iran - Russia, China, the U.S., France, Britain, and Germany - will meet on Thursday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the French Foreign Ministry said earlier.

Russia and China, veto-wielding UN Security Council members, have so far opposed extra, tougher sanctions against Iran.


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