Iran Thursday lashed out at the U.S. statement on its nuclear program and alleged engagement in terrorism, calling such allegations "baseless and absurd."
In a letter circulated to the UN Security Council president, the Iranian permanent representative to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaee, said, "It is unfortunate that the Security Council yet again heard some baseless allegations against the Islamic Republic of Iran by the representative of the United States in today's meting of the council on Iraq."
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, said the new U.S. administration will seek to end Iran's nuclear ambitions and its support for terrorism. This comments at the end of an open meeting of the UN Security Council on Iraq drew an immediate rebuke Thursday from Iranian UN ambassador.
"Despite the allegations made by the U.S. representative, Iran's nuclear program has been, is and will remain absolutely peaceful and Iran has never tried nor will ever try to acquire nuclear weapons," the letter said.
"It is unfortunate that, yet again, we are hearing the same tired, unwarranted and groundless allegations that used to be unjustifiably and futilely repeated by the previous U.S. administration," the letter said.
The Iranian asked Japanese UN ambassador Yukio Takasu, who holds the council presidency for the month of February, to circulate the letter as a Security Council document "since the format of the said (council) meeting did not allow my delegation to make a statement on the council's meeting," it said.
"The allegation made against Iran on terrorism is also equally baseless and absurd," the letter said. "As a victim of terrorism, we have always condemned terrorism in all its aspects and manifestations."
"Instead of raising allegations against others, the United States had better take concrete and meaningful steps in correcting its past wrong policies and practices vis-a-vis other nations including the Islamic Republic of Iran," the letter added.
Rice made the statement on Iran at an open Security Council meeting on Iraq, saying the long-term U.S. commitment to Iraq and the reduction of the U.S. military presence there had to be understood "in a larger, regional context" that included Afghanistan, the Middle East and Iran.
The United States "will seek an end to Iran's ambition to acquire an illicit nuclear capacity and its support for terrorism," Rice said. She said the United States will aim to encourage both Iran and Syria to become "constructive regional actors."
Her comments came as the Obama administration is reviewing U.S. policy toward Iran.