Iran has the right to pursue a peaceful nuclear program, and the country should be left alone to do so, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the opening session of a Non-Aligned Movement summit held at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik, the Libyan leader also said that his own nation was close to making an atomic bomb before it voluntarily shut down its secret program in 2003.
According to Gadhafi, the UN's nuclear watchdog - the International Atomic Energy Agency - should be the judge of whether Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons through its uranium enrichment program as the United States and Israel claim.
Iran denies the charges and insists its program is solely designed to generate power. But its blockade of IAEA attempts to probe its alleged nuclear weapons-related experiments have kept suspicions high.