Sunday, April 18, 2010

Iran Slams, 'Atomic Criminal' United States

Iran slams ‘atomic criminal’ US


TEHERAN--Iran slammed “atomic criminal” the United States yesterday and called for its suspension from the UN nuclear body, urging changes at the UN Security Council and in the Non Proliferation Treaty.

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in an opening message to a two-day nuclear disarmament conference hosted by Teheran, said the use of nuclear weapons was “haram”, meaning religiously prohibited, and branded Washington as the world's “only atomic criminal”.

Hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went a step further and called for Washington’s suspension from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) along with all other nations who possess nuclear arms.

“Only the US government has committed an atomic crime,” said a message read out from the all-powerful Khamenei, who formulates Teheran’s foreign policy, including its nuclear strategy.

“The world’s only atomic criminal lies and presents itself as being against nuclear weapons proliferation, while it has not taken any serious measures in this regard,” he said.

Ahmadinejad, under whose presidency Iran has aggressively pushed ahead with its controversial nuclear programme despite three sets of UN sanctions, attacked the present structure of the UN Security Council, the IAEA and even the NPT.

“An independent international group which plans and oversees nuclear disarmament and prevents proliferation should be set up,” he said as he opened the conference attended by several foreign ministers and UN officials.

He said those who “possess, have used or threatened to use nuclear weapons be suspended from the IAEA and its board of governors, especially the US which has used a weapon made of atomic waste in the Iraq war”.

Ahmadinejad did not elaborate on that charge but his remark is expected to irk allies Russia and China. Both are nuclear states and have veto powers in the UN Security Council but have so far hesitated to back a fourth set of sanctions against Teheran.

Ahmadinejad said “the right to veto, which is undemocratic, inhumane and unfair, should either be annulled or if some insist on having this right, then some countries from Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe should also have the right to veto in order to reduce its negative outcomes”.

Khamenei and Ahmadinejad have been particularly infuriated in recent days with Washington over its new nuclear policy unveiled last week.

The policy limits the countries against which Washington might use its nuclear arsenal, but singles out Iran and North Korea as exceptions for flouting UN Security Council regulations over their nuclear programmes.

No comments: