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Iran protests intimidation by 'hegemonic powers'

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-09-27 09:29

Iran protests intimidation by 'hegemonic powers'

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses the General Debate of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, the United States, Sept 26, 2012. Ahmadinejad on Wednesday accused some "hegemonic powers" of intimidating his country, citing military threats from Israel.[Photo/Xinhua]

UNITED NATIONS - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday accused some "hegemonic powers" of intimidating his country, citing military threats from Israel.

"Arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent," Ahmadinejad said here at the annual debate of the UN General Assembly.

"Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality," he added.

Ahmadinejad's remarks came after US President Barack Obama warned on the same podium on Tuesday that time is "not unlimited" for the diplomatic settlement of the Iran nuclear issue, and that Washington will do what it must to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb.

Major Western powers and Israel have long suspected that Tehran is secretly developing nuclear weapons, but Iran insists its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only. Israel has openly threatened to use preemptive strikes to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.

In a separate development, Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ali Asghar Soltanieh, has said that Iran would stop enriching uranium to a purity level of 20 percent if the West lifts sanctions against Tehran, according to a report by the semi-official Mehr news agency on Wednesday.

So far the West has not reacted to Tehran's latest offer.

The P5+1 countries -- the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany -- are expected to hold discussions with Iran on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly session in New York.

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