Iran will file a formal complaint with the U.N. against the United States after President Barack Obama excepted Iran from a pledge not to use nuclear weapons against countries that do not have them, the Foreign Ministry said Sunday.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that Obama's implicit threat to use nuclear weapons against Iran was a "threat to global peace and security," according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.
Earlier Sunday, some 222 lawmakers of Iran's 290-seat parliament called on the Iranian government to file the complaint.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, also said Obama's threatening language is proof that the U.S. cannot be trusted.
Obama announced America's new nuclear strategy Tuesday, including a vow not to use nuclear weapons against countries that do not have them. Iran, however, was pointedly excepted from that pledge, along with North Korea, because Washington accuses them of not cooperating with the international community on nonproliferation standards.
Obama's new nuclear strategy turns the U.S. focus away from the Cold War threats and instead aims to stop the spread of atomic weapons to rogue states or terrorists. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said the focus would now be on terror groups such as al-Qaida as well as North Korea's nuclear buildup and Iran's nuclear ambitions.
The U.S. and some of its allies accuse Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the charges, saying its nuclear program is peaceful.
"We will formally hand over our complaint to the United Nations in response to these threats," Mehmanparast said Sunday. "Such statements show that countries possessing nuclear weapons themselves are the biggest threat to world security."
Pressuring Iran in its standoff with the West is a particular focus of America's new nuclear strategy. The exception from the non-use pledge represents a warning to Tehran. But also, the new guidelines aim to show Washington is serious about reducing its own arsenal and about gathering world support for stricter safeguards against nuclear proliferation — a move aimed at further isolating Iran diplomatically.
Iran's top leader, Khamenei, blasted Obama Sunday, saying the U.S. president's remarks are "disgraceful."
"The U.S. president has implicitly threatened the Iranian nation with nuclear weapons. These remarks are very strange. The world should not ignore it because in the 21st century ... the head of a state is threatening a nuclear attack. The U.S. president's remarks are disgraceful," Khamenei said on state television.
"These (Obama's) remarks mean the U.S. government is a villain government that can't be trusted," he said.
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