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. Iran lashes out at British FM over nuclear warning
TEHRAN, Nov 24 (AFP) Nov 24, 2008
Iran on Monday lashed out at British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, accusing him of having Zionist ties after he said the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is "the most immediate threat" to Middle East stability.

"We have recently seen comments by Miliband about Iran being a threat in the region. There is no doubt about his strong ties with Zionists," foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi told reporters.

"All countries consider the Zionist regime as a threat and not Iran, which has not threatened any countries in the past centuries," he added.

According to a pre-released copy of his speech, Miliband was to urge Arab leaders to make clear they do not support Iran's nuclear ambitions, as he visits the United Arab Emirates Monday.

He will say the prospect of Iran having nuclear weapons poses "the most immediate threat" to Middle East stability, and appeal to Tehran's neighbours to put pressure on President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In October the British foreign secretary warned of a possible nuclear arms race in the Middle East if Iran was allowed to press ahead unchecked with a uranium enrichment programme.

World powers, fearing Iran might make atom bombs under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, have offered Tehran incentives and talks in return for a halt to uranium enrichment.

Iran has ignored five UN resolutions demanding a suspension of uranium enrichment, which can supply nuclear fuel as well as the fissile core of an atom bomb in high purifications.

Iran insists it only wants to make nuclear fuel to generate electricity and vehemently denies seeking atomic weapons. However, the country's first Russian-built nuclear power plant is yet to come on line.

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