Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday opened a two-day nuclear conference under the slogan “Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for No One.” The conference came as a response to the April 12 US nuclear summit in Washington to which Iran was not invited.

In his opening speech, Ahmadinejad called to expel countries that used or threatened to use nuclear weapons from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including the US. He also accused the US of not acting seriously against nuclear weapon proliferation, and called on it to stop making nuclear threats, adding “The era of reliance on nuclear bombs has passed. People [who make such threats] lack reason and civil culture.”

Ahmadinejad also proposed the foundation of a new body to supervise nuclear energy worldwide, and suggested that the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) should be reviewed by independent countries not possessing nuclear arms. Iran is a signatory of the treaty but holds on to its right of enriching uranium despite the sanctions imposed upon it.

Foreign Secretaries from 8 countries are to participate in the event, including Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, Russia’s deputy Foreign Secretary, an assistant to the Chinese Foreign Minister, and representatives from the UN and the IAEA.

In a related development, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei proclaimed Saturday that Islam forbids the use of nuclear weapons. “The US, being the only country ever to commit a nuclear crime, purports to prevent nuclear proliferation but in fact hasn’t done anything about it.”

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