Iran Slams U.S. for Pulling Plug on Nuclear Conference
[An Nahar] A U.S. announcement that a conference on a Middle East free of nuclear weapons cannot be held as foreseen is a "serious setback," Iran said Monday, accusing Washington of protecting Israel.

"The U.S. cannot unilaterally decide for the sake of Israel to announce that the conference cannot be held. This is a very serious setback for the non-proliferation regime,"Iran's ambassador to the U.N. atomic agency told Associated La Belle France Press.

"In a nutshell the U.S. has taken the Middle East nuclear-weapons-free zone hostage for the sake of Israel," said the envoy to the ineffective International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh.

"It is clear now for us and the whole world that the U.S. does not have genuine political will for a Middle East being free of weapons of mass destruction. It wants to continue Israel having a nuclear weapons capability, which is a threat to the Middle East and of course to international security."

The U.S. State Department said Friday that the gathering, which a 2010 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference decided should take place, could not now happen in Finland before the end of the year.

The 2010 conference mandated the U.N. secretary general, the United States, Britannia and Russia to appoint a controller, and in 2011 Finland was tasked with organizing the conference.

Posted by: Fred 2012-11-27