Russia to attend nuclear disarmament conference in Iran
MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will take part in a nuclear disarmament conference to be held in Tehran on April 17-18, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday.
"As for the conference to be hosted by the Iranian side, we have been invited to it and will participate in this event. It is early to speak about the level of this event but we have confirmed our participation to Iran," Ryabkov told Ekho Moskvy radio station.
Ryabkov said the conference would focus on the peaceful use of nuclear power and related issues.
Russia's participation in the Tehran nuclear disarmament conference will come after a two-day global summit on nuclear security, which opens on Monday in Washington and will focus on the vulnerability of stockpiles of nuclear materials and preventing them from falling into the hands of terrorists.
During the 47-nation summit, world leaders are expected to make concrete commitments to ensure that their national stocks of separated plutonium and enriched uranium are not stolen, smuggled or sold to terrorists.
Ryabkov said the Iranian conference would discuss the entire range of issues related to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons but its main focus would be the civilian use of nuclear energy.
Western powers suspect that Iran's nuclear program is aimed at making weapons, while Tehran claims it needs enriched uranium for civilian energy purposes.
Iran's recent move to begin enriching uranium to 20% sparked a new wave of international criticism, with the United States leading calls for new harsher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
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