Mitt Romney solidifies gains in opinion polls as he and the others strike a hawkish note in foreign-policy debate.
Iran must review its co-operation with the UN nuclear watchdog due to the allegedly hostile nature of a report on the country’s atomic programme, Ali Larijani, the parliament speaker, said.
In an explicit warning to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Larijani said the tone of the report amounted to “hostility and a copy of orders” issued by Israel and the United States.
“Issues raised in the recent IAEA report, following weeks of hype, were rooted in the [policies of] the US and the Israeli regime,” Larijani said during an open session of Iran’s parliament, the Majlis, on Sunday, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported.
“The parliament deems necessary to review [Iran’s] co-operation with the agency, because it showed with its new approach that co-operation and non-co-operation makes no difference in its decision, which are unprofessional anyway.”
The Islamic Republic considers the report by Yukiya Amano, the IAEA director-general, as an instance of enmity, Larijani said.
Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabari, reporting from the Iranian capital, Tehran, said many MPs had called for ending ties with the IAEA, but it was unlikely to happen.
“That decision will have very grave consequences for the Islamic republic. It is something that the leadership will have to consider very closely.
“A decision like that, it will come down to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. But as far we understand, it will be very unlikely for Iran to sever all relations with the IAEA at this stage.”
The latest IAEA report was circulated among the 35 members of the agency’s board of governors on Tuesday, in advance of the seasonal meeting of the board, scheduled to begin in Vienna on November 17.
In the report, Amano said that Iran had engaged in activities related to developing nuclear weapons before 2003, and that these activities “may still be ongoing”.
Larijani said that the report has been prepared in such a “meaningless and hasty” way that even some member states of the agency described it as senseless.
In Israel, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said: “The IAEA report is a document that confirms the claims of the leading countries of the world and Israel too, that Iran is systematically developing nuclear weapons.”
“All the responsible governments of the world will have to take the necessary conclusions on the IAEA report.
“The international community will have to stop the Iranian race to arm itself with a nuclear weapon, a race that is endangering the peace of the whole world.”
Netanyahu is expected to brief ministers on the IAEA report later on Sunday.
‘Extreme war frenzy’
In a related development, North Korea accused the US and Israel of engaging in an “extreme war frenzy” over Iran’s atomic programme, saying that a new war may break out in the Middle East.
According to a UN report, which came out last year, Iran is among the countries which North Korea has supplied with banned nuclear and ballistic equipment using “surreptitious” means to avoid international sanctions.
Speculation has mounted in recent weeks that Israel could launch a strike on Iran, with President Shimon Peres warning last weekend that an attack was becoming “more and more likely”.
“A dangerous situation is now prevailing in the Middle East whereby a new war may break out,” Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency wrote in a commentary on Sunday.
It denounced the US and Israel for “openly revealing their scheme for military attack” on Iran.
“The extreme war frenzy shown by the US and Israel is a very dangerous deed that may drive the Mideast region to disasters of new war, in the wake of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in the present century,” the commentary said.
Our correspondent, however, said there was not any substantial fear of an Israeli attack on the streets of the capital.
“Many people we have spoken to on the streets of Tehran and officials as well say they have heard these threats from Israel before,” Jabari reported.
“They don’t think that Israel will carry out any strikes against Iran because this country is very different than Iraq and Syria – they just wont sit by and let something like that happen to them.
“They also believe that Israelis are very aware that Iran is in a much better position to respond to any strikes.”