Egypt’s Morsy supports Syrian rebels at Tehran meet
Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei on Thursday said his country considered the use of nuclear, chemical and similar weapons as a “great and unforgivable sin” but that did not mean Tehran would forego its right to peaceful use of nuclear power and production of nuclear fuel.
The Supreme Leader assailed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for its ineffectiveness, a charge sidestepped by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who wanted Tehran to demonstrate that it can play a “moderate and constructive” role and build international confidence in its nuclear programme through full compliance with its obligations under Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Egyptian President Mohammad Morsy further stirred things up by dwelling on the situation in Syria in considerable detail saying the ongoing civil war reflected the “desire of the Syrian people for freedom, justice and equality and called on the Syrian opposition to unite in its battle against Damascus. Mr. Morsy’s observations provoked an outburst from a Syrian delegate but there were differing views on whether he walked out of the hall or had been summoned for a TV interview.
It was left to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to lower the temperature by focusing on NAM’s revised priorities in the present era.
Iran is under sanctions by the UNSC as well as much more severe restrictions imposed unilaterally by the U.S. and the European Union that have made it difficult for other countries to conduct commerce with it, particularly in the energy sector, through normal channels. The IAEA, too, is seeking access to certain sites to confirm that under the guise of developing nuclear energy, Iran is not trying to enrich uranium to the extent required for a nuclear bomb.
But Ayatollah Khamenei asserted that Iran had never pursued the nuclear option for military purposes and felt “it is most unfortunate to see that countries possessing the largest nuclear arsenals have no serious and genuine intention of removing these deadly weapons from their military doctrines and they still consider such weapons as an instrument that dispels threats and as an important standard that defines their political and international position. This conception needs to be completely rejected and condemned”.
“Surreptitious moves are under way to consolidate a permanent monopoly over production and sale of nuclear fuel in centres carrying an international label but in fact within the control of a few Western countries”, he said while describing the lead role taken by the U.S. to squeeze Iran as a “bitter irony”.
“The U.S. and its Western allies have armed the usurper Zionist regime with nuclear weapons and created a major threat for this sensitive region. Yet the same deceitful group does not tolerate the peaceful use of nuclear energy by independent countries, and even opposes, with all its strength, the production of nuclear fuel for radiopharmaceuticals and other peaceful and humane purposes. Their pretext is fear of production of nuclear weapons. In the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, they themselves know that they are lying,” he said while reminding that Tehran was an ardent backer for a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, implying that Israel should also step back from retaining the nuclear option.
The Iranian Supreme Leader bore down on the UNSC, describing it was “an illogical, unjust and completely undemocratic structure and mechanism. This is a flagrant form of dictatorship, which is antiquated and obsolete and whose expiry date has passed”.