News / Middle East

Iran Calls for US, Other Nuclear Armed States to be Ousted from IAEA

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for the United States to be suspended from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Iranian leader opened a two-day nuclear conference in Tehran Saturday, just days after the U.S. held a similar summit in Washington and pointedly did not invite Iran.

Mr. Ahmadinejad launched a broad attack on the world's nuclear monitors, slamming the structure of the U.N. atomic agency, the U.N. Security Council, and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT.

He said nuclear armed countries, in particular the United States, should not be part of the IAEA. That would also include Iran's most powerful backers on the nuclear issue - China and Russia -  though their support has been recently wavering.

As an alternative to the current structure of nuclear oversight, the Iranian leader proposed an "independent" international group to monitor nuclear disarmament and stem proliferation.

In that vein, Mr. Ahmadinejad called for a review of the NPT, saying non-nuclear weapon states should revise the treaty.  He argued that the U.S. and other nuclear-armed nations would hamper a "just commitment."

Strengthening the NPT was one of the goals of the Washington conference. The U.S. and others say Iran is not living up to its obligations under the treaty, to which it is a signatory.  At issue is Tehran's secrecy concerning its nuclear program, which it says is for civilian purposes.  Western nations, among others, suspect it is aimed at building nuclear weapons.

In Tehran, delegations from Syria, Lebanon and Iraq voiced their support for Iranian nuclear activities,  which they described as peaceful.

Iranian media report they also called for Israel to join the non-proliferation pact. Israel is widely believed to have the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, but neither confirms nor denies its existence.

Mr. Ahmadinejad also called the veto power wielded by the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council unjust. He suggested if it must continue, it should be held by countries from Latin America and other traditionally unrepresented nations.

Iranian media reported envoys from some 60 nations and several international and non-governmental groups are attending the conference, which is being held under the banner of "nuclear energy for all, nuclear weapons for no one."

It appeared timed to counter the U.S. meeting and question America's right to lead the nuclear discussion. President Barack Obama used the Washington summit to press for a fourth round of U.N.  sanctions against Tehran. Iranian leaders also objected strongly to the recent revision of U.S. policy which reserves the right to strike Iran and North Korea.

President Ahmedinejad, whose government has issued a series of contradictory messages about its nuclear program, Saturday condemned nuclear arms in general, arguing reliance on such weapons in global affairs is a legacy of "uncultured and backward governments."

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs