Says Iran doesn't need them; accuses US, Israel of threatening other countries with nukes.
By E.B. SOLOMONT, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENTPublished: MAY 4, 2010 18:41Advertisement
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.“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 nuclearweapons.“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 continuesto threaten the use of nuclear weapons, including against my country,”he said. “For years, the Zionist regime, too, threatens Middle Easterncounties with its arsenal.”During the speech, a number of countries walked out, including the United States and members of the European Union.“Wewalked out, together with many other countries, in response to thefirst of a series of wild accusations,” said PJ Crowley, the StateDepartment spokesman. A working-level officer remained in the US chair.Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said Canada boycotted the speech altogether.“It’sthe same speech, the same aggressive tone,” he told reporters in NewYork. “He has been aggressive against the UN Security Councilresolutions. He has been aggressive against human rights. He has beenaggressive against the State of Israel and nothing today wouldindicate… that has changed.”Ahmadinejad criticized the NPT as imbalanced, and the IAEA as lacking authority and subject to countries with political clout.“Thosewith nuclear bombs continue to have immunity from the IAEA,” he said.“Presence and political influence so far prevented the IAEA fromperforming its mandates.”But on Monday, IAEA Director GeneralYukiya Amano said the agency cannot confirm the nature of Iran’snuclear material “because Iran has not provided the necessarycooperation.”Meanwhile, Egypt introduced a working papercalling for the implementation of a 1995 resolution that wouldestablish a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.“To be ableto deal with the Iranian issues, you have to deal with the nuclearcapabilities of Israel,” he told reporters last week. The proposalcalls for an international conference next year, which Israel wouldparticipate in, to jumpstart the process of a treaty to establish anuclear-free region.The United States says it supports the concept, but under more peaceful circumstances in the region.“Weare concerned that the conditions are not right,” Undersecretary forArms Control Ellen Tauscher said on Friday. “This is something theregion has to embrace, and they have to embrace it at the right time,when all parties can participate.”
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