United Nations: Iran has vowed to "retaliate" against any attack after Israel's prime minister called for a "red line" to prevent the Islamic republic from acquiring a nuclear bomb.

Denying any nuclear military programme, Iran's deputy UN ambassador said his country "is strong enough to defend itself and reserves its full right to retaliate with full force against any attack."

The envoy, Eshagh al-Habib, told the UN General Assembly that Israel is a "regime which is based on terrorism and is the father founder of state terrorism in the world."

Al-Habib accused Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of making "baseless allegations" against Iran during a firebrand speech to the UN assembly earlier in the day.

Netanyahu called for "a clear red line on Iran's nuclear weapons programme" in his address to the 193-member assembly.

"The red line must be drawn on Iran's nuclear enrichment programme because these enrichment facilities are the only nuclear installations that we can definitely see and credibly target," he said in a speech that accused Iran of backing terrorism around the world.

Habib said Netanyahu had "shamelessly and hypocritically" made the accusations, adding that Israel is a non-declared nuclear power. The Iranian envoy also accused Israel of organising operations in Iran that led to the murder of several of its nuclear scientists.

Habib poked fun of a graph that Netanyahu used in his speech, which showed a cartoon version of a bomb with a lit fuse.

"For the second time in the recent history of the United Nations, on Friday an unfounded and imaginary graph was used to justify a threat against a founding member of the United Nations," he said.

It was an implicit reference to the "proof" of weapons of mass destruction that US Secretary of State Colin Powell used when making the case for the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

"In our increasingly inter-connected world and in the information age, it is hardly possible for nations to be fooled by such absurd means," said Habib. "No amount of slander, deception or smear campaign by the Zionist regime can cloud its dark history."

"The international community should live up to its responsibility and exert pressure on this regime to end all this irresponsible behavior in a volatile region such as the Middle East," Habib said.

The envoy said Iran's nuclear programme is "exclusively peaceful and in full conformity with our international obligations."

(Agencies)

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