Iran brands US ‘criminal’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has labelled the US an “atomic criminal” at a conference
on nuclear disarmament in Tehran.

He also said that the use of
nuclear weapons was prohibited by religion.

Iran’s
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said an independent body should be set up to
oversee nuclear disarmament.

Iran has been angered by a recent US
review of nuclear policy, which Tehran
sees as a threat to use nuclear weapons against it, a BBC correspondent says.

Iran’s leadership
has used this conference on nuclear disarmament to underline what it says is
its moral opposition to nuclear weapons.

Ayatollah Khamenei said in a
message read out at the conference: “Only the US government has committed an
atomic crime.

“The world’s only atomic
criminal lies and presents itself as being against nuclear weapons
proliferation, while it has not taken any serious measures in this
regard,” he said.

He also told the conference that
the use of nuclear weapons was “haram” – prohibited under Islam.

President Ahmadinejad called for
the US
and all countries who possessed nuclear weapons to be suspended from the UN nuclear
watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

He said there should be an
independent international body set up to oversee nuclear disarmament.

The US hosted a big international
conference of 47 nations last week to discuss nuclear security.

Iran was not invited as the US
fears Tehran is
trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Tehran says its
nuclear programme is for purely peaceful purposes.

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