Iran's Ahmadinejad dismisses nuclear threat

  • Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused Western leaders of nuclear "intimidation" in a United Nations General Assembly address.

    "(The) arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent," he told the 193-nation annual gathering on Wednesday.

    "Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists (Israel) to resort to military action is a clear example of this bitter reality," Ahmadinejad said during his half-hour speech, which the Israeli and the U.S. delegations had boycotted following his recent attacks on Israel.

    On the eve of the General Assembly debate, Ahmadinejad told a UN meeting that Israel was a "fake regime", resulting in a walk out by Israel's UN Ambassador, Ron Prosor.

    The West alleges Iran is developing nuclear weapons, though Tehran insists its nuclear program is solely for civilian purposes.

    In his address to the General Assembly on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama stressed the United States would "do what we must" to stop Tehran acquiring nuclear arms.

    Speaking to reporters later, Ahmadinejad said that Iran was ready for talks with the U.S.

    It was his eighth and final speech at the UN General Assembly before he steps down.