US criticizes Iran for remarks at nuclear conference

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned that Iran's nuclear program is a threat to the world, shortly after Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused countries with nuclear capabilities of threatening those who were developing civilian nuclear technology.

The remarks by both came at a conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in New York. Ahmadinejad had criticized western nations, as well as Israel, in his speech, which prompted delegations from the US, France, and the United Kingdom to walk out. American officials said that Ahmadinejad's remarks were indicative of Iran's increased isolation by the international community.

Ahmadinejad had also been critical of nations with nuclear weapons for failing to disarm, saying that "production, stockpiling and qualitative improvement of nuclear armaments... now serves as a justification for the others to develop their own" and nuclear weapons were "a fire against humanity, rather than a weapon of defence. The possession of nuclear bombs is not a source of pride. Its possession is disgusting and shameful."

US White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that it was "predictable" that Iran was continuing its silence on the treaty itself, which would see all signatories relinquish any access to nuclear weapons, through either disarmament or a pledge not to develop nuclear weapons. He also said that Iran was making "wild accusations" about the treaty, the guidelines of which which it has so far failed to follow. Iran continues to claim its nuclear program is for civilian purposes exclusively.

Clinton said in her speech that "Iran will do whatever it can to divert attention away from its own record in an attempt to evade accountability" and that "[Iran] has defied the UN Security Council and the IAEA and placed the future of the non-proliferation regime in jeopardy, and that is why it is facing increasing isolation and pressure from the international community."