TEHRAN, Iran, (AP) – Iran’s foreign minister and nuclear chief says he is too busy to attend an international security conference where his country’s suspected nuclear weapons ambitions featured prominently in the past.
Ali Akbar Salehi’s decision was reported Saturday by the semi-official Iranian news agency Isna. It came several days after Britain’s defense secretary said Tehran might be able to develop nuclear weapons by next year.
Iran claims its nuclear program is limited to peaceful purposes. The U.S. and its allies insist Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons. Recent attempts by the U.S. and others to persuade Iran to open its atomic program to more scrutiny have failed.
Last year, Iran was represented at the annual security conference in Germany.