Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the United States and its allies on Monday of monopolizing both nuclear weapons and nuclear energy while threatening other countries that want access to nuclear technology, DPA reported.
Ahmadinejad was addressing the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference at the UN General Assembly in New York, and stole the spotlight as the only head of state attending the opening of the month-long meeting.
He strongly defended his government's production of enriched uranium and nuclear technology against countries that suspect Tehran of aiming for the production of nuclear weapons.
"Nuclear energy is among the cleanest and cheapest sources of energy," Ahmadinejad said.
He said it would cost 500 million dollars a year in oil at current market prices to maintain a 1,000-megawatt power plant compared to 60 million dollars for a nuclear power plant generating the same capacity in nuclear energy.
"One of the gravest injustices committed by the nuclear weapon states is equating nuclear arms with nuclear energy," he said. "As a matter of fact, they want to monopolize both the nuclear weapons and the peaceful nuclear energy, and by doing so to impose their will on the international community. The aforementioned issues are all against the spirit of the NPT and in flagrant violation of its provisions."
Ahmadinejad noted that the United States was the first country to use an atomic weapon against Japan in 1945 and accused the US of "continuing to threaten use of nuclear weapons against other countries, including Iran." He accused the US of stockpiling half of the estimated 23,000 warheads in existence in the world.
"The Zionist regime, too, consistently threatens the Middle East countries," he said.
Ahamadinejad's attacks against the US and Israel have made regular headlines in past years. But his remarks appeared strongest at the UN meeting as they dealt with nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, which could make it more difficult for the NPT review conference to work out a consensus on nuclear issues that have defied solutions. The dispute over Iran's nuclear issues jeopardized the outcome of the 2005 review conference.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for calling on him to accept a deal for nuclear fuel worked out by the UN's nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency ( IAEA). He said Tehran already accepted the deal and the "ball is on the court of those who would provide the fuel."