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Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:50PM
Representative of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Finnish Undersecretary of State Jaakko Laajava

Representative of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Finnish Undersecretary of State Jaakko Laajava

Iran has been invited to take part in the 2012 conference on the establishment of a Middle East free from nuclear weapons. Representative of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Finnish Undersecretary of State Jaakko Laajava, who has been named as the facilitator of the 2012 Middle East Conference, held talks with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Mohammad-Mehdi Akhoundzadeh in Tehran on Monday. Laajava pointed to Iran's strategic importance in the region and called for the country’s participation in the conference which is scheduled to take place in Helsinki, Finland, in December. He added that the conference will be held for the first time on the basis of the decision made during the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in 2010. Akhoundzadeh, for his part, expressed Iran's firm determination to oppose the nuclear weapons and stressed the importance of organizing a convention on the prohibition of such weapons. Addressing the opening ceremony of the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran on August 30, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Tehran considers the use of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, to be an “unforgivable sin.” “The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the use of nuclear, chemical, and similar weapons to be a great and unforgivable sin,” the Leader stated. SF/SS/AZ