Israel Time: 15:17 (EST+7)
Last update - 14:24 04/04/2010
Iran announced Sunday it will hold an international conference on nuclear disarmament later this month, the official news agency IRNA reported. The conference is part of efforts by Tehran to show it is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons
"Iran, as advocate of nuclear disarmament, will hold this conference as a call to all countries to demolish their nuclear arsenals," Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili told IRNA.
The foreign ministers of Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Oman and Turkmenistan have already confirmed their participation at the two-day conference to be held on April 17 in Tehran.
The conference - dubbed Nuclear Energy For All, Nuclear Weapons For No One - is scheduled to take place days after a U.S.-hosted summit on nuclear security.
Jalili who was in Beijing earlier this week for talks about forthcoming UN-sanctions, said the Chinese had also welcomed the Iranian initiative and will take part on the event. China has resisted imposing new international sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.
Iran has been under growing pressure for its controversial atomic program and already faced three resolutions from the UN Security Council until now. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that new sanctions against Iran could just increase the country's motivation for more technological progress and reiterated that "intimidation of our nation by such threats cannot hinder our progress."
The U.S. and some of its allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charges.