Iran's hard-line president on Wednesday ridiculed President Barack Obama's new nuclear strategy, which turns the U.S. focus away from the Cold War threats and instead aims to stop the spread of atomic weapons to rogue states or terrorists.
Obama on Tuesday announced the new strategy, including a vow not to use nuclear weapons against countries that do not have them. Iran, however, was a notable exception to that pledge, along with North Korea, because Washington accuses them of not cooperating with the international community on nonproliferation standards.
Concerns over Iran's nuclear program figure prominently in the new U.S. strategy. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the focus would now be on terror groups such as al-Qaida as well as North Korea's nuclear buildup and Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad derided Obama over the plan in a speech Wednesday to a crowd of thousands in the country's northwest.
"American materialist politicians, whenever they are beaten by logic, immediately put their finger on the trigger like cowboys," he said.
"Mr. Obama, you are a newcomer (to politics). Wait until your sweat dries and get some experience. Be careful not to read just any paper put in front of you or repeat any statement recommended," Ahmadinejad said in the speech, aired live on state TV. "(American officials) bigger than you, more bullying than you, couldn't do a damn thing, let alone you."
The United States and its allies accuse Tehran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge denied by Iran, which says its nuclear program is intended only to generate electricity.
Washington is heading a push for the United Nations to impose new sanctions on Iran over its refusal to suspect uranium enrichment, a process that can produce either fuel for a reactor or the material for a warhead. Iran says it has a right to enrichment under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.