Iran on Thursday urged all countries to take serious steps to dismantle all nuclear weapons and called for setting a deadline in this regard by the international community.

“We believe that nuclear disarmament and non—proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) are a necessity in today’s world. So a time limit is needed to be set for the elimination of nuclear weapons and this issue has to be incorporated in the final declaration of the Nuclear Non—proliferation Treaty (NPT) conference,” Mohammad Khazaee, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.

Mr. Khazaee said Iran, as one of the first countries to have signed the NPT and which floated the idea of a nuke—free Middle East in 1974, supports global denuclearisation as well as free access to peaceful nuclear technology.

He said Iran calls for removal of all WMD from across the globe.

The UN General Assembly had approved a draft resolution proposed by Iran on nuclear disarmament in October 2009, amid strong opposition by the US, Britain, France, Israel.

The resolution ratified in the first committee of the UN General Assembly calls on all countries to annihilate their nuclear weapons under the supervision of international bodies. It also urged Israel to join the NPT and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect its nuclear installations.

More than 100 countries, including non—nuclear members of the Non—Aligned Movement (NAM), voted for the resolution.

Tehran also held a conference on nuclear disarmament in April, which was attended by foreign ministers and nuclear experts from 60 countries.

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