Iran ‘wants abolition of nuclear weapons’
New York, September 23, 2009
Iran wants to cooperate with Japan in working to abolish nuclear weapons, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told his Japanese counterpart at a meeting in New York, Japanese officials said.
The US and its European allies suspect Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Iran says its uranium enrichment programme is solely for the peaceful production of electricity.
In talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Mottaki told Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada that Iran had no intention of acquiring nuclear weapons and that the age of nuclear weapons was over, Japanese officials said.
Mottaki added that Iran was willing to work with Japan, the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack, in the effort to ban nuclear weapons, they said.
Okada said it was a pity suspicion hung over Iran's nuclear activities and urged Mottaki to hold frank discussions with the Obama administration, but Mottaki said Iran had no intention of talking about its nuclear 'rights,' the officials said.
Iran has agreed to hold talks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the US, Russia, China, France and Britain, plus Germany, on October 1.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the discussions must address the nuclear issue, but Iran insists its nuclear activities will not be on the agenda. – Reuters