United Nations and Iran quarrel at summit
REUTERS PhotoThe Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran has become a stage for the UN and Iran’s quarrel over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.
Iran has no interest in nuclear weapons, but will continue to pursue peaceful nuclear energy, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei told a gathering of leaders of NAM countries in Tehran. “Our motto is nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapons for none,” Khamanei said. “Iran will never pursue nuclear weapons, but it will not give up its national right to peaceful nuclear energy.”
Iran is hoping its hosting of NAM will prove that Western efforts to isolate the country and punish it economically for its disputed nuclear program have failed. Khamanei also slammed the U.N. Security Council in his speech, saying, “The U.N. Security Council has an irrational, unjust and utterly undemocratic structure, and this is an overt dictatorship.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, who appeared nonplussed during Khamanei’s speech, shot back in his own address that Iran should build confidence in its nuclear program by “fully complying with the relevant Security Council resolutions and thoroughly cooperating with the IAEA,” the UN’s nuclear watchdog. Otherwise, he warned, “a war of words can quickly spiral into a war of violence.”