IRAN'S hardline president Friday accused the U.N. nuclear watchdog of being politically biased against Tehran's nuclear ambitions, and warned the downfall of bullying Western powers and "Zionists" was near.
Visiting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Malaysia that the International Atomic Energy Agereatment of the Islamic Republic of Iran is politically motivated."
Ahmadinejad's criticism comes ahead of a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation board in Vienna on Monday to recommend action on Iran's nuclear programme to the UN Security Council, which has the power to issue sanctions.
Iran is under pressure from the IAEA to show that its nuclear programme is not intended to make atomic bombs. Iran says it only wants to use nuclear power to generate electricity. The Iranian president charged that the IAEA was biased because a majority of its board of governors are Westerners.
Nineteen of the 35 nations on the board of governors are Muslim, Latin American, Asian or African.
During a question and answer session after the speech, Ahmadinejad, whose three-day official visit to Malaysia ends Friday, said that 18 of the 35 members on the IAEA's board are "chosen from Western allies."
"Regrettably, most international organisations have turned into political organisations and the influence of great powers prevents them from taking fair and legally sound decisions," Ahmadinejad said.
"It is just a democracy in name. In reality it is not a democracy. They do as they please ... They have found another pretext to put pressure on my nation," he said.
Also Friday, Iran's top nuclear negotiator and key European foreign ministers began a new round of discussions on the nuclear crisis in Vienna.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who is accompanying Ahmadinejad, said he hoped the Vienna talks will be successful.
"Negotiations will be continued," Mottaki told reporters. "We are optimistic to reach some good conclusion for the benefit of all parties," he said.
In his speech, Ahmadinejad said that the U.S. opposition to Iran's nuclear program is an example of Western bullying that is frustrating the entire Muslim world.
But a wave of awareness is sweeping the fragmented Muslim world and "will turn into a gigantic force" that will engulf current political alliances, he said.
"Domination and bullying will not last much longer," he said.
"Bullies and Zionists beware! You are going to fall!"
Ahmadinejad attributed most of the problems faced by the Muslim world to the "hegemonic tendencies" of bullying powers, an apparent reference to the United States and Europe.
A former Tehran mayor who took office last June with the backing of his country's hardline clergy, Ahmadinejad has provoked outrage with statements that Israel should be "wiped off the map" and that the Holocaust is a "myth."
For 60 years, Muslims have lived in anger because of the "occupying Zionist regime," he said Friday. "Not a day goes by without Palestinians being killed, their houses destroyed ... . Unfortunately today the self-appointed champions of human rights are the main backers and full supporters of the Zionist regime."
He also lashed out against hypocrisy in Europe, where he said newspapers publish caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in the name of free press, but criminalise any attempt to deny the Holocaust.