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Iran's Ahmadinejad Says Nuclear Summit 'Humiliating'

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad delivers a speech during a ceremony to mark National Nuclear Day in Tehran on April 9.
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has condemned a nuclear security summit that opens in Washington today as humiliating to humanity.

U.S. President Barack Obama is hosting the summit, which is focused on preventing nuclear terrorism but where world leaders are also set to discuss his push for new sanctions against Iran's nuclear program.

Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as telling delegates at a domestic tourism industry event, "world summits being organized these days are intended to humiliate human beings."

Presidents, prime ministers, and other leaders from 47 countries will attend the summit. Iran and North Korea were not invited to the conference.

Russia Against Oil Sanctions

Meanwhile, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned that energy sanctions on Iran -- the kind said to be most favored by U.S. lawmakers -- could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe."

The Russian president said Iran's nuclear program should be watched, but the proposed UN sanctions should not, as he said, make the "whole Iranian community start to hate the whole world."

Many Western countries fear Iran's nuclear program is being used to develop a bomb. Tehran says the program is peaceful.

Medvedev told the television news agency ABC today that sanctions should not target Iran's oil trade and "should not cause suffering."

Russia has voiced support for the U.S.-led effort to toughen UN sanctions on Iran, and Medvedev is due to arrive in Washington today to attend the two-day conference on nuclear security.

Also today, Medvedev warned that Russia could opt out of a nuclear disarmament treaty signed last week if the U.S. missile-defense program in Europe creates what he called "imbalance."

compiled from agency reports