Iran to boycott Mideast nuke forum

AP News
Posted: Nov 18, 2011 3:06 PM
Iran to boycott Mideast nuke forum

Iran says it will boycott a meeting meant to pave the way for a Mideast free of nuclear weapons and blames the chief nuclear inspector for its decision.

Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh says Iran will not attend next week's meeting because of the "double standard" of its host, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano.

Soltanieh said Friday that Amano has "not even talked about Israeli nuclear capabilities" in convening the session.

The talks, to be held Monday and Tuesday, are meant to be an exploratory discussion of creating such a zone. But they are significant in their potential to create trust ahead of a bigger meeting next year.

Amano has come under increased Iranian criticism for a report that strongly suggests Tehran is secretly working on nuclear arms.