News / Middle East

Iran Accuses West of Double Standard on Nuclear Weapons

In this photo released by the Iranian President's Office, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, is escorted by technicians during a tour of Tehran's research reactor center in northern Tehran, Iran, February 15, 2012.
In this photo released by the Iranian President's Office, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, is escorted by technicians during a tour of Tehran's research reactor center in northern Tehran, Iran, February 15, 2012.
Lisa Schlein

With tensions high over whether Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, Iran on Tuesday repeated that it is open to talks on its nuclear program, and it accused the West of a double standard on the nuclear issue.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi stressed the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program as he addressed the U.N. Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.

He called for nuclear disarmament worldwide - saying the gravest threat to sustainable security is the existence of thousands of nuclear weapons in the arsenals of a few countries.

Western countries and Israel fear that Iran, despite its denials, is trying to join that group of nuclear-armed nations.

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency said it has "major differences" and "major concerns" with Iran over its nuclear program and possible weapons development.

U.N. inspectors said their latest visit to Tehran, aimed at gaining greater access to key nuclear sites and scientists, ended in failure.

On Tuesday, Salehi told the U.N. conference that Iran will continue to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes. He said other countries have two choices on how to deal with this program.

“One way is engagement, cooperation and interaction, and the other is confrontation and conflict. The Islamic Republic of Iran, confident of the peaceful nature of its nuclear program, has always insisted on the first alternative," said Salehi. "When it comes to our relevant rights and obligations, our consistent position is that Iran does not seek confrontation, nor does it want anything beyond its inalienable legitimate rights.”

Salehi said the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Iran has signed, upholds the right of member states to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

He criticized the sanctions placed on Iran by nations that fear Iran's nuclear intentions are not peaceful.

“Monopolizing selfishly the scientific knowledge and the technology of peaceful nuclear energy and depriving others from it through various means including atrocious assassination of scientists is an illusion, which will certainly not lead to the preservation of their perceived supremacy,” said Salehi.

Salehi was referring to the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist last month. Iran blames the killing on Israel.

The Iranian foreign minister accused the West of double standards and discrimination in supporting Israel, which has not joined the NPT and is widely believed to be the only nuclear power in the Middle East, although it has never confirmed having a nuclear arsenal.

The U.S. ambassador to the disarmament conference, Laura Kennedy, cast doubt on Iran’s nuclear program. She said the Iranian minister’s stated commitment to nuclear disarmament stands in stark contrast to Iran’s failure to comply with its international obligations.

She said Iran has just expanded its ability to enrich uranium and noted Tehran continues to deny U.N. inspectors full access to its nuclear facilities.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices
. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid