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UN Security Council attacked for inaction on England riots... by Iran

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wonders why the Security Council is “silent” as British citizens lash out against their government.

Image: Vahid Salemi/AP

IRAN’S PRESIDENT Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has urged the UN Security Council to take action over the rioting in Britain, arguing the council was being hypocritical in its reaction to the events.

Ahmadinejad – whose government is under international sanction for its controversial nuclear programme, and has been condemned by Western countries for its handling of protests and dissent – also called on British officials to listen to the demands of their people.

“The UN is silent, human rights bodies are silent,” Ahmadinejad said on state radio following a Cabinet meeting. “If one per cent of this happens in countries that oppose the West, they scream until they are hoarse.

“Why is the Security Council silent?” he said, also questioning its willingness to take action directed at one of its five veto-wielding permanent members.

Ahmadinejad’s comments appeared to be a direct jab at Britain, which supported the opposition movement during postelection turmoil in 2009.

Iranian state media has seized on the rioting as an opportunity for payback, dubbing the violence there a “civil war”. Hardline lawmakers have urged London to allow an Iranian human rights delegation to monitor the situation in the country.

In comments directed at Britain’s leadership, including Prime Minister David Cameron, Ahmadinejad said the officials should “stand by their own people”.

“They should change their attitude, change their management and deal with their own people instead of intervening in others’ affairs,” he said, referring to Britain’s role in Afghanistan, Iraq and its participation in the NATO airstrikes on Libya.

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“They were claiming that they are a role model and advocator of freedom, human rights and democracy, but what behaviour do they apply in dealing with their own people,” said Ahmadinejad.

Iran’s nuclear file has been a fixture before the Security Council, where the US, UK, China, Russia and France hold permanent seats.

The other 10 spots rotate between other UN member states, and the council is the only body within the United Nations that can authorise any punitive measure, including military action, on countries.

Tehran is under several rounds of sanctions for its disputed nuclear programme — one which Western countries believe is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. Iran disputes that claim, saying the programme is for peaceful purposes only, such as generating electricity.

More: Tough words from PM David Cameron to rioters

Gallery: In pictures: Riots spread to new cities

Read: Violence and arrests as UK riots continue overnight

Plus: Why do people riot?

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Associated Press

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