Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the UN General Assembly Tuesday that his nuclear standoff with the West was a “closed” matter. Ahmadinejad told world leaders gathered in New York for the assembly’s 62nd session that the controversy over Iran’s nuclear ambitions “is closed as a political issue” and should be handled “within the legal framework” and under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Iran strongly rejects US charges that it is trying to build atomic weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear program and insists it is entitled to pursue uranium enrichment as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The UN Security Council has adopted three resolutions against Iran. Two include sanctions because of Iran’s refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
The United States is pushing for further UN sanctions on Tehran and is to hold further talks with the four other members of the Security Council — France, Britain, Russia and China — along with Germany on the issue this week.
In his address, Ahmadinejad reiterated that Tehran would “disregard unlawful and political impositions by the arrogant powers,” a reference to the Security Council demand that it halt uranium enrichment.
He then denounced “bullying powers” who violate human rights, accusing them of spreading insecurity and destabilization around the world.
“Unfortunately human rights are being extensively violated by certain powers, especially by those who pretend to be their exclusive advocates,” Ahmadinejad said, without mentioning the United States by name.
He also slammed the US-led invasion of Iraq and decried the plight of the Palestinian people, saying big powers “use various pretexts to occupy sovereign states and cause insecurity and division.”
Iran leader defiant in UN speech