[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Iran criticises nuclear 'monopoly'
Ahmadinejad's remarks come on visit to Shanghai days after China backs UN sanctions.
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2010 06:02 GMT
Ahmadinejad chose to visit Shanghai, not attend the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation summit [AFP]

Iran's president, on a visit to China, has criticised the world's nuclear powers for wanting "to monopolise" the technology for their own gain.

"Nuclear states do not allow others to even peaceful use of nuclear energy," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Shanghai on Friday.

"They want to monopolise science and technology for themselves to protect their material interests," he said at the World Expo in the Chinese financial hub.

The Iranian leader's comments come after the UN Security Council hit Tehran with a fourth round of sanctions on Wednesday.

Iran says its programme is purely for civilian energy purposes but critics suspect it of developing atomic weapons.

Ahmadinejad's visit to China comes at a delicate time in Tehran's relations with its ally, after Beijing backed the sanctions.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China could have exercised its veto power to block the sanctions.

China's vote

But it reversed its earlier opposition and backed the sanctions on Wednesday, though it continues to call for a diplomatic approach towards Iran.

in depth

 

Who's afraid of Iran?

  Video: Mystery over Iranian scientist deepens
  Inside Story: Reassessing the world nuclear order
  Inside Story: A world without atomic weapons
  Riz Khan: Global nuclear disarmament
  Empire: Iran - influence or threat?
  Countdown: The Iran/Israel arms race
  Timeline: Iran's nuclear programme

On Thursday, Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's atomic chief, lashed out at China, saying it was "gradually losing its respectable position in the Islamic world".

Marking Iran Day at his country's pavilion at the expo in Shanghai, Ahmadinejad did not directly criticise his host on Friday, but last month he rebuked Russia - which also backed the UN sanctions - warning its leaders "to correct themselves, and not let the Iranian nation consider them among its enemies".

He also skipped Friday's summit in Uzbekistan of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, which was attended by presidents Hu Jintao of China and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia.

Iran is an observer in the group but Ahmadinejad chose the low-key visit to Shanghai over an appearance at the regional security summit in Tashkent.

He was not scheduled to meet Chinese leaders while in China nor visit the capital, Beijing.

Bilateral trade between China and Iran reached at least $36.5bn last year.

Iran meets 11 per cent of China's energy needs and Chinese companies have major investments in Iranian energy extraction projects and the construction of roads, bridges and power plants.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.