US’ Absence in UN Disarmament Conference Does Not Matter, Says Iranian Official

abbas araghchi “Iran’s Mission in Geneva has an active and effective participation in all topics related to the disarmament initiatives around the world,” said Sayed Abbas Araghchi, Spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry in a press conference on Tuesday.

“We will continue to this effective and strong presence and others’ pressures or absence is not a matter of us,” he said.

The United States said Monday it will refuse to send its ambassador to any meeting of the U.N. forum where nuclear disarmament is negotiated when it’s chaired by Iran because countries under U.N. sanctions shouldn’t be allowed to hold such positions.

Erin Pelton, the spokesperson for the US Mission to the United Nations, said in a statement issued on Monday that the US would not send its ambassador to the conference.

The 65-nation Conference on Disarmament, based in Geneva, is the world’s most important disarmament negotiating forum. Though members have been divided in recent years, the conference and its predecessors have negotiated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, considered the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament efforts, and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Iran, which frequently calls for the elimination of all the weapons of mass destruction in the world, will accede to the rotating presidency of the 65-nation conference based in Geneva on May 27 and hand it over to another country on June 23.

US repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. 

Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. 

In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production. 

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