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Iran To Host Nuclear Disarmament Conference

The control room of Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant. Tehran maintains that its nuclear program is peaceful.
Iran has announced plans to host a nuclear disarmament conference later this month.

State news agency IRNA quotes chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili as saying "the Chinese have welcomed the initiative...and will participate" in the April 17-18 conference.

However, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official today said that Beijing has not yet decided whether or not it will attend the conference.

China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and has so far resisted UN plans for fresh sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

Western powers accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran insists its nuclear program is only for civilian purposes.

Iran's "Nuclear Energy For All, Nuclear Weapons For No-one" conference is scheduled shortly after an international nuclear security meeting is to be held in Washington on April 12-13.

Compiled from agency reports