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Iran Says 'Age Of Nuclear Weapons Is Over'

Mottaki (left) with Katsuya Okada in New York on September 22.
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Iran wants to cooperate with Japan in working to abolish nuclear weapons, Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki has told his Japanese counterpart, Japanese officials said.

The United States and its European allies suspect Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Iran says its uranium-enrichment program is solely for the peaceful production of electricity.

In talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Mottaki told Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on September 22 that Iran had no intention of acquiring nuclear weapons and that the age of nuclear weapons was over, Japanese officials said.

Mottaki added that Iran was willing to work with Japan, the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack, in the effort to ban nuclear weapons, they said.

Okada said it was a pity suspicion hung over Iran's nuclear activities and urged Mottaki to hold frank discussions with the Obama administration, but Mottaki said Iran had no intention of talking about its nuclear "rights," the officials said.

Iran has agreed to hold talks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain -- plus Germany on October 1.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the discussions must address the nuclear issue, but Iran insists its nuclear activities will not be on the agenda.