Ahmadinejad Opens Nuclear Summit, Sayyed Khamenei Slams US `Lies'
Batoul Wehbe

http://www.almanar.com.lb/NewsSite/NewsDeta ils.aspx?id=133785&language=en
17/04/2010

A much-awaited international two-day conference on disarmament and
non-proliferation of atomic weapons has started in the Iranian capital
on Saturday.

Top Iranian officials slammed `atomic criminal' the United States and
called for its suspension from the UN atomic watchdog. Iran's supreme
leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, in a message to the conference,
said the use of nuclear weapons was "haram", meaning religiously
prohibited, and branded Washington as the world's "only atomic
criminal."

"Only the US government has committed an atomic crime. The world's
only atomic criminal lies and presents itself as being against nuclear
weapons proliferation, while it has not taken any serious measures in
this regard," Sayyed Khamenei said in his message which was read out
at the start of the meeting.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went a step further and called for
Washington's suspension from the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) along with all other nations who possess nuclear arms.

Ahmadinejad called for a global supervision of nuclear disarmament.
"An independent international group which plans and oversees nuclear
disarmament and prevents proliferation should be set up," the
president said as he opened the conference. He said those who
"possess, have used or threatened to use nuclear weapons be suspended
from the IAEA and its board of governors, especially the US which has
used a weapon made of atomic waste in the Iraq war."

During the two-day conference, international politicians will put
their heads together to address the nuclear disarmament issue.
Representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and experts
from over 70 countries will also be taking part in the conference,
which has been called "Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapon for No
One."

Foreign ministers from Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, the Central African
Republic, Oman, Turkmenistan, Armenia and Swaziland participated,
while Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar was represented by
their deputy foreign ministers, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman
Ramin Mehmanparast said. Mehmanparast said a special aide of the
Chinese foreign minister, representatives of the United Nations and
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the chief of
Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) will also be present.

"Due to the eruption of the volcano (in Iceland), some foreign
ministers from South America and Africa who had connecting flights may
come later or tomorrow. Among them are also some experts of weapons of
mass destructions and nuclear weapons," he added.

Iran's atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying in recent
days that the conference would serve as preparation for the next NPT
review meeting in New York early next month, which Iran's Foreign
Minister Manouchehr Mottaki plans to attend.

By hosting the event, Tehran hopes to raise awareness in the
international community about the fact that nuclear weapon stockpiles
held by world powers are the most significant menace to world
security. Nuclear doctrines, atomic discrimination, globalization of
the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and double standards
applied by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its
dealings with various states, are also to be high on the agenda. The
need to make `clean and peaceful nuclear energy' available to all
countries is also expected to be a highlight of the event.

The conference comes just days after Washington held its biggest ever
nuclear summit. Iran criticized the 47-nation nuclear disarmament
summit in Washington hosted by US President Barack Obama, on the
grounds the United States holds one of the world's largest stocks of
nuclear weapons.

At the US nuclear summit, Obama pressed China and other UN Security
Council skeptics to back a fourth set of sanctions against Iran for
its nuclear program but Beijing refused to come to America's corner.