DUBAI - World powers should focus on scrapping nuclear weapons and abiding by their own non-proliferation commitments rather than speculating about Iran's peaceful atomic work, the Iranian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The broadside by the ministry's spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast appeared to be a response to a US call the previous day for Iran to take "urgent practical steps" to build confidence ahead of nuclear talks with six major powers in Baghdad on May 23.

"Some countries say they are concerned that Iran's activities might be diverted towards non-peaceful purposes in the future," he said. "When they are talking about future speculation, how can they not be concerned about scrapping nuclear weapons at the present time?"

Indirectly rebuking some of the nations involved in nuclear negotiations with Iran - the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - Mehmanparast spoke of their own "contravention and clear violation" of the rules.

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