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Iranian President Lashes Out at US at UN Summit

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday sharply criticized the US for unilateralism and abuse of its status as the host country of the UN's New York headquarters.


"The host country should not enjoy any right or privilege over the rest of the membership and the organization and its headquarters must be easily accessible for all," said Ahmadinejad in an address at the UN summit.


Earlier this month there was speculation that the US administration might deny Ahmadinejad an entry visa. Last week, the speaker of the Iranian Islamic Consultative Assembly, Haddad Adel, failed to attend the Second World Conference of Speakers of Parliaments in New York because of a delay in the release of a US entry visa.


"The UN must have the possibility to enable all governments, civil society organizations and NGOs from all over the world to freely travel to its headquarters without the selective hindrances of the host country and to engage without any fear in serious dialogue," Ahmadinejad stressed.


Ahmadinejad, who was elected Iran's new president in June, also urged the UN to "lead in promotion of spirituality and compassion for humanity."


He criticized "unilateralism, production and use of weapons of mass destruction, intimidations, resort to the threat or use of force and imposition of destructive wars on peoples for the sake of security and prosperity of a few powers."


In his speech, Ahmadinejad did not mention Iran's dispute with the US over Tehran's nuclear program. Washington accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, a claim denied vehemently by Teheran.


(Xinhua News Agency September 15, 2005)


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