Ahmadinejad calls nuclear weapons ‘disgusting’

Says Iran doesn't need them; accuses US, Israel of threatening other countries with nukes.

By E.B. SOLOMONT, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
May 4, 2010 18:41
3 minute read.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad UN 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 
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UNITED NATIONS – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said possessing nuclear weapons is “disgusting and shameful” and that Iran has no use for such an arsenal.

long conference meant to strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the Iranian leader accused the United States and Israel of threatening other countries with their nuclear stockpiles and exploiting political clout in the international political arena.

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“Major terrorist networks are supported by the US intelligence agency and the Zionist regime,” he said.

Even before the speech, the Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference, held every five years, was focused on Iran’s nuclear program. The US has been pushing aggressively for touch sanctions against the Iranian regime.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was scheduled to address the conference later in the day. But over the weekend, she suggested that Ahmadinejad wanted to “divert attention and confuse the issue.”

In his opening remarks, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Iran to engage and to accept the nuclear fuel supply proposal that has been put forth. Under the proposal, Iran would send out enriched uranium for refinement into fuel rods.

“Let us be clear, the onus is on Iran to clarify the doubt and concerns about their program,” Ban said.



But Ahmadinejad insisted that Iran had accepted the deal.

“To us, it’s an accepted deal,” he said.

Instead, he said the United States and its ally, the Zionist regime, have threatened international security with their stockpile of nuclear weapons.

“Unfair policies applied by a select few of expansionist states have obscured the prospect of international security,” he said.

“Regrettably, the United States has not only used nuclear weapons, but also continues to threaten the use of nuclear weapons, including against my country,” he said. “For years, the Zionist regime, too, threatens Middle Eastern counties with its arsenal.”

During the speech, a number of countries walked out, including the United States and members of the European Union.

“We walked out, together with many other countries, in response to the first of a series of wild accusations,” said PJ Crowley, the State Department spokesman. A working-level officer remained in the US chair.

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said Canada boycotted the speech altogether.

“It’s the same speech, the same aggressive tone,” he told reporters in New York. “He has been aggressive against the UN Security Council resolutions. He has been aggressive against human rights. He has been aggressive against the State of Israel and nothing today would indicate… that has changed.”

Ahmadinejad criticized the NPT as imbalanced, and the IAEA as lacking authority and subject to countries with political clout.

“Those with nuclear bombs continue to have immunity from the IAEA,” he said. “Presence and political influence so far prevented the IAEA from performing its mandates.”

But on Monday, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said the agency cannot confirm the nature of Iran’s nuclear material “because Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation.”

Meanwhile, Egypt introduced a working paper calling for the implementation of a 1995 resolution that would establish a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.

“To be able to deal with the Iranian issues, you have to deal with the nuclear capabilities of Israel,” he told reporters last week. The proposal calls for an international conference next year, which Israel would participate in, to jumpstart the process of a treaty to establish a nuclear-free region.

The United States says it supports the concept, but under more peaceful circumstances in the region.

“We are concerned that the conditions are not right,” Undersecretary for Arms Control Ellen Tauscher said on Friday. “This is something the region has to embrace, and they have to embrace it at the right time, when all parties can participate.”

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