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U.S. walks out as Iran presents its case at UN nuclear conference

By Saeed Shabazz -Staff Writer- | Last updated: May 7, 2010 - 10:14:26 AM

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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, addresses the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). Photo courtesy, United Nations
‘The government of the United States which is the main suspect in the production, stockpiling and use and threat of the use of nuclear weapons, insists to assume the leadership role in reviewing the NPT.’
—Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

UNITED NATIONS ( - The last remaining representative of the United States walked out some 13-minutes into the speech of Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was the second speaker at the 2010 review conference of the parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which began on May 3.

The French and British delegations also walked out, while the Russian and Chinese delegations remained in their seats.

The month-long conference is a platform for strengthening the rules of the NPT for all of the 189 nations that have signed the regime. The treaty entered into force in 1970 and is based on a set of international rules whose objective is “to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons' technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goals of achieving nuclear disarmament.”

The Washington Post reported on May 3, that the conference was “all about Iran”— quoting an anonymous source at the White House. The Washington Post also hinted that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—who was scheduled to speak in the afternoon on May 3—hinted that the Iranian president wanted to use his speech “to divert” attention away from the discussion in the 15-member UN Security Council, concerning new economic sanctions against Tehran's nuclear program. Iran denies that it is building a nuclear bomb.

Observers say the month-long meeting will be a test of Pres. Barack Obama's nuclear strategy, as he also seeks to establish U.S. leadership on nuclear arms control.

The Iranian president, in responding to the U.S. push to lead the NPT, said: “There is an Iranian saying, “A knife never cuts its own handle”—so, expecting the major arms dealers to work for the establishment of security is an illogical expectation.”

“The government of the United States which is the main suspect in the production, stockpiling and use and threat of the use of nuclear weapons, insists to assume the leadership role in reviewing the NPT,” said Pres. Ahmadinejad. “The government of the United States has never respected any of its commitments. One may ask how much nations could possibly trust the U.S. to implement its commitments,” the Iranian leader added.

The Iranian pursuit of a nuclear program came under fire by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and the International Atomic Energy Agency director general, Yukiya Amano.

“I call on Iran to fully comply with Security Council resolutions and fully cooperate with the IAEA. And I encourage the president of Iran to engage constructively. Let us be clear: the onus is on Iran to clarify the doubts and concerns about its program,” stated the UN secretary-general.

“In the case of Iran, [the IAEA] continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material, but remains unable to confirm that all nuclear material is in peaceful activities because Iran has not provided the necessary cooperation,” Mr. Amano said.

Pres. Ahmadinejad countered by saying to the secretary-general, who was seated behind him, that Iran was throwing the ball back into the international community's court; and that his nation's proposals for rectifying the impasse over its nuclear program must be accepted. He also said there is “not a single credible proof” that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

“We're not going to permit Iran to try to change the story from their failure to comply,” Ms. Clinton said on NBC's “Meet the Press” on May 2.

“The United States government has always tried to divert the public's attention from its noncompliance and unlawful actions by bringing into focus some misleading issues,” countered the Iranian president. “They have recently raised the issue of nuclear terrorism as part of their efforts to maintain and upgrade their nuclear arsenals on one hand,” while diverting “public opinion from the issue of disarmament.”

He said there was no room for bullying and arrogance. “There is a common movement” amongst nations that has begun based on “justice” noted Pres. Ahmadinejad.

“I invite Mr. Obama, the president of the United States to join this humane movement, if he is still committed to his motto of “change,” the Iranian leader said.

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