News / Middle East

Iranian President Rails Against West at NPT Conference

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says possession of nuclear bombs is not a source of pride, but is 'disgusting and shameful'

Margaret Besheer

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad kicked off the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference with a lengthy diatribe against the United States and other Western powers who seek to sanction his country for its controversial nuclear program.  

Mr. Ahmadinejad spoke for more than half an hour, giving what has become something of his trademark - a speech criticizing the United States, Israel and invoking God - and sending the U.S., British and French delegations walking out of the hall in protest.

He said the possession of nuclear bombs is not a source of pride, but is "disgusting and shameful."  

"And even more shameful is the threat to use or to use such weapons, which is not even comparable to any crime committed throughout history," said President Ahmadinejad.

He criticized the United States for being the first nation to produce and use a nuclear bomb during World War II, saying it is one of the most hated countries in history.

And he accused Israel, which is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons but denies it, of stockpiling hundreds of nuclear warheads and receiving assistance for its nuclear program from the United States and its allies.

But despite his anti-nuclear weapons rhetoric, it is Mr. Ahmadinejad's government that is under a cloud of international suspicion for what many states believe is a covert program to produce atomic weapons.  A possible fourth round of sanctions against Iran for failing to stop enriching uranium is being negotiated among major powers at the United Nations.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon encouraged President Ahmadinejad to "engage constructively" and comply fully with existing U.N. Security Council resolutions and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Let us be clear: the onus is on Iran to clarify the doubts and concerns about its program," said Ban Ki-moon.

He urged the Islamic Republic to accept a nuclear fuel supply proposal from the IAEA that has been on the table for many months, saying that would be an important confidence-building measure.

Mr. Ahmadinejad replied to Mr. Ban in his opening remarks, saying Iran had accepted the fuel exchange deal.

"Well I would like to tell you and inform him as well, that we accepted that from the start," he said. "And I would like to announce that for us it is an accepted deal.  Therefore, we have now thrown the ball in the court of those who should accept our proposal and embark on cooperation with us."

But in fact, Iran has not sent any firm reply to the international community and has sought to change the terms of the original proposal.

Later Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will address the review conference.

Conferences to review the operation of the NPT have been held every five years since the treaty went into effect in 1970, becoming the main legal barrier to the spread of nuclear arms.  Delegates from the 189 countries belonging to the treaty will discuss compliance with its three pillars - nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The month-long review conference will also likely focus on Iran's non-compliance with U.N. Security Council resolutions and IAEA safeguards, North Korea's withdrawal from the treaty in 2003 and its subsequent two nuclear tests, and the possible implementation of a 1995 resolution on establishing a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.  

Related video by Margaret Besheer:

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid