Starting off with a speech from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian nuclear disarmament summit kicked off today with 14 foreign ministers, 10 other deputies, and an undisclosed number of other representatives. All told, some 60 nations and several international groups were represented.
The conference, designed as an alternative to the Obama Administration’s summit from earlier this week, sought to focus on the dual issues of nuclear weapon disarmament and urging more international respect for the spreading of civilian nuclear technology to members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Both issues are of considerable import to the Iranian government, which has for years faced an ever growing amount of sanctions and threats of invasion over its civilian nuclear program, and accusations that it has designs on atomic weapons, something the government has vehemently denied.
The expectation is that the summit will culminate with a “road map” calling for the total elimination of all nuclear weapon arsenals on the planet. This may be of limited value, however, as not every nuclear weapons state will be in attendance.