Iranian ayatollah wants new UN
Hamburg - A senior Iranian ayatollah called Friday for the formation of a new United Nations after the UN Security Council passed new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programmes.
"This UN is not the UN of independent world states but the UN of imperialistic and hegemonic powers," Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said in the Friday prayer ceremony carried live by Iranian radio.
The Security Council on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favour of its fourth sanctions resolution against Iran.
"We need a new independent UN as this UN with its current status has totally lost its credibility already," the ayatollah said.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad described the new resolution and sanctions against his country as being "like a used handkerchief which should go into a garbage can".
"For us, these sanctions are not a crisis but a new opportunity for getting more self-sufficient and relying more on our own potential," said Khatami, who is a senior member of the Experts Assembly clerical body and a fierce supporter of Ahmadinejad.
The ayatollah said that besides the UN, the United States has also lost its international credibility because it was President Barack Obama himself who asked Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to work out a nuclear compromise with Iran.
The so-called Tehran agreement, inked last month, spelled out a uranium exchange deal that was aimed at avoiding the new UN sanctions and preparing the ground for renewed negotiations between Tehran and the international community over its nuclear activities.
"The US has de-facto undermined its own initiative and decided right after the Tehran agreement to go ahead with the UN resolution and sanctions," Khatami said.
Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials have said the new resolution would not affect Iran's nuclear projects and the Islamic state would continue its disputed uranium-enrichment process.
Iran said that as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it had the internationally acknowledged right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology.
The world powers, however, fear that Iran might use the same technology for a secret military programme and build an atomic bomb.