Iran rebukes US envoy for remarks on nuclear weapons

February 27th, 2009 - 4:02 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Feb 27 (DPA) Iran has sharply criticised the new US envoy to the UN for making “baseless allegations” about Tehran’s ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons.
US Ambassador Susan Rice said Thursday at a UN Security Council session on the situation in Iraq that her government would devote more energy towards halting Iran’s nuclear ambitions, once it withdrew its troops from Iraq.

The Iranian mission to the UN issued a statement saying, “It is unfortunate that, yet again, we are hearing the same tired, unwarranted and groundless allegations that used to be unjustifiably and futilely repeated by the previous US administration.”

Former US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said the US “will seek an end to Iran’s ambitions to acquire an illicit nuclear capacity, and its support for terrorism”.

In its statement Iran said that its nuclear programme “has been, is, and will remain, absolutely peaceful and Iran has never tried nor will ever try to acquire nuclear weapons”.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, said in a report released last week that Iran has produced 1,010 kg of low-enriched uranium. Non-proliferation experts estimate that 1,000 to 1,700 kg are theoretically needed for use in an atomic weapon, although the material would have to be further enriched.

Iran also claimed it was a victim of terrorism and Rice’s charge of Iranian support of terrorism was “equally baseless and absurd”.

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