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Iran urges disarmament deadline

27 May 2010 11:10

Iran has called for setting a global nuclear disarmament deadline, amid intense efforts to draft a final statement for the NPT review summit.

“We believe that nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are a necessity in today’s world so a time limit is needed to be set for the elimination of nuclear weapons and this issue has to be incorporated in the final declaration of the (Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty) conference,” Fars News Agency quoted Iran’s ambassador to the UN Mohammad Khazaee as saying on Thursday.

Khazaee said that Iran, as one of the original countries to have signed the NPT and which floated the idea of a nuke-free Middle East in 1974, supports global denuclearization as well as free access to peaceful nuclear technology.

His comments came as world countries are discussing ways to improve the NPT during a review conference being held at the UN headquarters in New York.

The 2010 conference ends on Friday, but the prospect of disarmament remains bleak as Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, the major nuclear powers, rejected a call to rid themselves of nuclear weapons.

The members of the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) had suggested an amendment to the 28-page draft to include the phrase “within a specified framework of time” on nuclear disarmament but the suggestion was turned down by the five major powers, a diplomat said Wednesday.

The diplomat added that the suggestion came as part of an “action plan on nuclear disarmament which includes concrete steps for the total elimination of nuclear weapon,” AFP reported.

NPT members convene every five years to review and improve the NPT. The previous conference was held in 2005 but it failed to agree on a final document.

Non-nuclear countries complain that the NPT, which came into force 40 years ago, has failed to achieve its objectives including nuclear disarmament.

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