Embassy says West applies nuclear rules selectively

The Iranian embassy has accused western governments of double standards after comments made by the British foreign secretary.

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ABU DHABI // The Iranian embassy has accused western governments of double standards after the British foreign secretary, David Miliband, this week called Tehran an immediate threat to the world. On Monday, Mr Miliband told the UAE Centre for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi: "A nuclear-armed Iran would be a decisive blow against those seeking to promote pragmatic and peaceful solutions to the region's problems."

He said Iran could "co-operate and halt its enrichment or continue on its current path toward the future of confrontation and isolation". The Iranian embassy said the British government had no right to judge Iran's nuclear programme and accused western countries of applying different standards to Iran and Israel, which is widely believed to have nuclear weapons but has never said that it does. "The UK government should change its failed policy of creating divisions among regional countries," the embassy statement said. Security in the Middle East would be more likely in the absence of "foreign intervention".

The embassy said Iran had complied with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and had "spared no effort to display maximum transparency in its activities". "A small number of countries, which are known to all, have taken a stance against Iran's nuclear programme, while Israel continues to expand its atomic arsenal with their support." tspender@thenational.ae