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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran jeopardizes non-proliferation regime - Clinton

RIA Novosti

01:3004/05/2010 WASHINGTON, May 4 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized Iran for "flouting the rules," and putting the non-proliferation regime at risk during a UN nuclear conference in New York.

"Iran will do whatever it can to divert attention away from its own record in an attempt to evade accountability," Clinton said, addressing the delegates from 189 nations who gathered for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty review conference at UN headquarters.

She said the Islamic Republic's controversial nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at making nuclear weapons, "placed the future of the non-proliferation regime in jeopardy." "But Iran will not succeed in its efforts to divert and divide," she added.

She also told a press conference after her speech to delegates to the conference that the U.S. was still waiting for a positive response from Tehran on the IAEA-proposed nuclear swap scheme, though the U.S. saw no signs that the Iranian leadership would accept the proposal.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday used his speech to accuse Western powers of double standards.

"Regrettably, the government of the United States has not only used nuclear weapons, but it also continues to threaten to use such weapons against other countries, including Iran," he said.

"It appears that Iran's president came here today with no intention of improving the NPT," Clinton responded.

"He came to distract attention from his own government's failure to live up to its international obligations, to evade accountability for defying the international community and to undermine our shared commitment to strengthening the treaty," she said. "But he will not succeed."

Clinton dismissed Ahmadinejad's comments as "the same tired faults and sometimes wild accusations."

"Beginning today, the United States will make public the number of nuclear weapons in our stockpile and the number of weapons we have dismantled since 1991," Clinton said.

"So for those who doubt that the United States will do its part on disarmament, this is our record, these are our commitments and they send a clear unmistakable signal," she went on.

Shortly afterwards, the US Defense Department revealed the country had a total of 5,113 nuclear warheads in its stockpile.

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