UNITED NATIONS – Iran's nuclear activities are "transparent, peaceful and under the watchful eye" of United Nations inspectors, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the U.N. General Assembly in a speech.
Ahmadinejad accused some permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — an apparent reference to the United States — of using the powerful U.N. body as a tool of "threat and coercion." He reiterated his nation's commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
"All our nuclear activities are transparent, peaceful and under the watchful eyes" of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday.
His speech was sharply critical of the United States and Britain, and focused in large part on what he said was their abuse of the Security Council, on which they are both permanent members with veto power.
"If they have differences with a nation or state, they drag it to the Security Council and as claimants, arrogate to themselves simultaneously the roes of prosecutor, judge and executioner," Ahmadinejad said. "Is this a just order?"
The U.S. and Britain played central roles in helping craft a U.N. Security Council resolution passed in July that gave Iran until Aug. 31 to suspend uranium enrichment and asked the IAEA to report on Tehran's compliance, dangling the threat of sanctions if Iran refused. Tehran made clear even before the deadline expired that it had no intention of suspending uranium enrichment.
On Iraq, Ahmadinejad, Iran's president says the intensification of hostilities and terrorism in Iraq is serving as a pretext for the continued presence of U.S.-led forces in the country.
Ahmadinejad said multinational forces lacked the will to stabilize Iraq, intimating that the United States might be fomenting violence to remain in the country.
He told the General Assembly that despite the presence of coalition troops in the country for three years, "the occupiers are incapable of establishing security in Iraq" and every day hundreds of people get killed "in cold blood."
"Despite the establishment of the lawful government and National Assembly of Iraq, there are covert and overt efforts to heighten insecurity, magnify and aggravate differences within Iraqi society, and instigate civil strife," Ahmadinejad said.
"There is no indication that the occupiers have the necessary political will to eliminate the sources of instability," he said.
Ahmadinejad claimed that numerous terrorists apprehended by the government were "let loose under various pretexts by the occupiers."
"It seems that intensification of hostilities and terrorism serves as a pretext for the continued presence of foreign forces in Iraq," he said.