Iran has decided to lodge a formal complaint in the United Nations against remarks by President Barack Obama of the United States that Washington could use nuclear weapons against Tehran.

“We will submit our formal complaint against this kind of threats to the United Nations,” said Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast in an interview with the semi-official Fars News Agency. Mr. Obama's remarks were “a threat to global security,” he said. In an interview with the New York Times ahead of the unveiling of the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), Mr. Obama had singled out Iran and North Korea as countries which would not benefit from Washington's pledge not to use nuclear weapons against Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) complying countries. Separately, amplifying Mr. Obama's remarks, the U.S. Defence Secretary, Robert Gates said: “I actually think that the NPR has a very strong message for both Iran and North Korea.”

There has been a cascade of condemnations against the Obama administration's assertions right across Iran's leadership spectrum.

On Sunday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that words used by Mr. Obama were “disgraceful and harmful to the Americans.”

Ayatollah Khamenei said the “world should not overlook such words” where “the President of a country threatens [another country] with an atomic attack”.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Mr. Obama had aired his remarks under the influence of powerful Israeli lobby groups.

Speaker of Iran's parliament Ali Larijani said the U.S. President's assertions were a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

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