Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iran Accuses Obama of Double Standards on Nuclear Power

Iran is accusing U.S. President Barack Obama of double standards for supporting the building of nuclear power plants in the United States while threatening Tehran for pursuing a similar goal.

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency made the comment in response to Mr. Obama's State of the Union address to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday.

In that speech, Mr. Obama urged lawmakers to support the construction of a new generation of safe and clean nuclear power plants. He also repeated U.S. accusations that Iran is using its nuclear program to pursue atomic weapons in violation of international agreements.

Mr. Obama warned Iranian leaders that they will face "growing consequences" for continuing to "ignore" those obligations, as he put it. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday she discussed proposals for more international pressure on Iran with her Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, in London.

Secretary Clinton said Washington and Beijing do not seek to punish the Iranian people, but hope instead to change what she called the "strategic calculus" of the Iranian leadership.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the U.N. Security Council will move toward a new resolution pressuring Iran at the "appropriate time."

French Ambassador to the U.N. Gerard Araud said Paris is ready to move as quickly as possible on such a resolution, but does not know how long negotiations in the Council will take. France assumes the Council's rotating presidency next month.

Iran has ignored three sets of U.N. Security Council resolutions to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to create atomic weapons.

Iranian news agency IRNA also accused Mr. Obama of supporting "rioters" in Iran and noted that he used his speech to support the idea of gays joining the U.S. military.

In the address, Mr. Obama promised to work with lawmakers and the military to repeal a law denying gays the right to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.