News24

Ahmadinejad: Iran won't retreat

2011-11-09 22:32

Tehran - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Wednesday that Iran won't retreat "one iota" from its nuclear programme, denying claims that it seeks atomic weapons. Key ally Russia gave the Islamic Republic a major boost, rejecting tighter sanctions despite a UN watchdog report detailing suspected arms-related advances.

In his first reaction to the report, Ahmadinejad strongly chided the UN International Atomic Energy Agency - a day after it claimed Tehran was on the brink of developing a nuclear weapon - saying the IAEA is discrediting itself by siding with "absurd" US accusations.

The comments, broadcast live on state TV, were a sharp rebuke to Western warnings that Iran appears to be engaged in a dangerous defiance of international demands to control the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions.

In Paris, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said France would support boosting sanctions against Tehran to an "unprecedented scale" if Iran stonewalls investigations, even as Israel and others say that military options are still possible.

But Russia, which has veto-wielding power on the UN Security Council, said new sanctions would be unacceptable.

"Any additional sanctions against Iran would be perceived by the international community as an instrument for regime change in Tehran," deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the Interfax news agency, adding that Russia "does not intend to consider such proposals".

Gatilov said Russia believes that dialogue with Iran is the only way forward.

Israel's government remained silent over the report, apparently seeking to keep the focus on international pressures and avoid turning the report into a specific showdown between Israel and Iran.

Meanwhile, Iran's other chief ally, China, issued cautious statements calling for diplomacy and dialogue.

Absurd US claims

"This nation won't retreat one iota from the path it is going," Ahmadinejad told thousands of people in Shahr-e-Kord in central Iran. "Why are you ruining the prestige of the [UN nuclear] agency for absurd US claims?"

A conservative Iranian lawmaker later threatened that the parliament could force the government to pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, as a response to the report by IAEA chief Yukiya Amano.

"In the first stage, we will pull out of NPT if Amano shows incompetence and asks for Obama's permission for every report," conservative lawmaker Mahmoud Ahmadi Bighash told state TV Wednesday.

The 13-page annex to the IAEA's report released on Tuesday included claims that while some of Iran's activities have civilian as well as military applications, others are "specific to nuclear weapons".

Among these were indications that Iran has conducted high explosives testing and detonator development to set off a nuclear charge, as well as computer modelling of a core of a nuclear warhead.

The report also cited preparatory work for a nuclear weapons test, and development of a nuclear payload for Iran's Shahab 3 intermediate-range missile - a weapon that can reach Israel.

Ahmadinejad repeated Iran's claims that it doesn't make sense to build nuclear weapons in a world already awash with atomic arms.

"The Iranian nation is wise. It won't build two bombs against 20 000 [nuclear] bombs you have," he said in comments apparently directed at the West and others. "But it builds something you can't respond to: Ethics, decency, monotheism and justice."

The US and allies claim a nuclear-armed Iran could touch off a nuclear arms race among rival states, including Saudi Arabia, and directly threaten Israel. The West is seeking to use the report as leverage to possible tougher sanctions on Iran, but Israel and others have said military options have not been ruled out.

Metal toilet stalls

The bulk of the information in the IAEA report was a compilation of alleged findings that have already been partially revealed by the agency. But some of the information was new - including evidence of a large metal chamber at a military site for nuclear-related explosives testing.

Iran has dismissed that, saying they were merely metal toilet stalls.

Iran's official IRNA news agency also quoted Bighash as saying the report shows that IAEA "has no powers and moves in the direction" of the US and allies. Another parliament member, Parviz Sorouri, accused Amano of tarnishing the agency.

"The report was drawn up by Americans and read by Amano," the semiofficial ISNA news agency quoted him as saying.

The UN Security Council has passed four sets of damaging sanctions on Iran, but veto-wielding members China and Russia oppose further measures and are unlikely to change their minds despite the report's findings.

China has not publicly commented yet on a UN assessment of Iran's nuclear programmes in a likely sign that it will wait for Washington and Moscow to signal their intentions. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said on Wednesday that Beijing was studying the report and repeated calls for dialogue and co-operation.

In Paris, Juppe said France would support tougher sanctions if Iran refuses to answer new questions about its nuclear programme.

"We cannot accept this situation [of a nuclear-armed Iran], which would be a threat to stability and peace of the region and beyond," he said on France's RFI radio.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said late on Tuesday it would not comment on the report until it had time to study it.

"It is important to figure out whether there really are new, and indeed trustworthy, facts that confirm the suspicions that there are military components in the Iranian nuclear programme, or whether we're talking about the intentional and counter productive exacerbation of emotions," said the Russian statement.

In Israel, a leading columnist at the Yediot Ahronot daily, Nahum Barnea, said there is a desire by officials to rally world opinion to pressure Iran.

"The publication of the report returns the ball to the international court," wrote Barnea. "Israel is not alone".

Comments
  • donderwolk - 2011-11-09 22:48

    WW3?

      Dirk - 2011-11-10 06:18

      This socalled "president" of Iran, is a murderous international terrorist. The sooner, Israel destroys Irans nuclear capacity, the better. They have the right munition(Bunker boys) to do so. And to leave Ahmadinejad in power, would be a grave mistake.He is an international terrorist, kidnapper and generally a scum bag. That he could have support here, is a sad reflection on the demented state of the minds(sic) who do.

      Pieter - 2011-11-10 07:57

      Dirk, you are missing the plot. Iran has done nothing to incite violenece on any nation. This is a deliberate attempt of Israel and it't lapdog USA to get rid of his enemies, the same way as with Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq etc. And they even use the same carrot to claim that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. The same ploy they used to demolish Iraq. If you remember correctly, they eventually found nothing of that sort.

      Dirk - 2011-11-10 08:49

      Pieter, I am certainly not missing the plot. I worked with this"stuff", so I am well informed. Iran finances and supports international terrorim- a fact. WMD in Iraq DID exist, but were removed to Syria just prior to the invasion by the US.This is known by all in the intelligence community, even the opponents of the USA. Even the locations in both Iraq and Syria, are known. Dont be deceived, the Iranian regime is absolutely evil.

      Dayaan - 2011-11-10 08:54

      @Dirk it is clear that you live in cloud coo-coo land

      donderwolk - 2011-11-10 08:57

      dirk! you wouldn't know the truth if it came and slapped you in the face! you wanna tell me the americans or israel for that matter will allow wmd's in syria? take off you blinkers

      Dayaan - 2011-11-10 09:24

      Dirk must have got his intelligence from coo-coo land or his a fossil from the apartheid regime who worked for BOSS who was in cahoots with Mossad that is why he claims he knows so much. Perhaps it is much about nothing.

      Dirk - 2011-11-10 09:41

      To the deceived- Coo coo land? If you mean Iraq, Iran and Saudi, yes, then I did, Have you ever been beyond Lenasia?

      Dayaan - 2011-11-10 10:06

      Do you count Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Canada, USA, UK, France, Turkey, Russia - yes i have and i don't stay in Lenasia.

      Barry - 2011-11-12 18:45

      @Dirk. You worked with this "stuff". You have not even been to the middle east have you ? Yet you can state many facts as if you have. Bless you

      Fred - 2012-02-08 00:29

      The only people talking sense here is Dirk. The rest of you are totally confused. :)

  • Mthuthuzeli - 2011-11-10 00:22

    What does this look like from the average Iranian`s point of view? What if Iran had removed the US democratically elected leader and replaced him with a dictator (Mosadegh) in order to steal MicroSoft? What if the United Nations turned a blind eye to a US neighbour and longstanding enemy equipping itself with nuclear weapons? {Israel.} What if Iran had illegally invaded two of US neighbours and sandwiched the US between them? {Mexico, Canada.}

      Fred - 2012-02-08 00:32

      Are you suggesting Iran is a democracy? Hahahahaha! Wake up buddy. This is total nonsense. You're supporting terrorism. Do you know what this is?

  • ekfeugo - 2011-11-10 02:19

    This Ahmadinejad is using bigger words than our own Julius can comprehend, let alone utter ie, "Ethics, decency, monotheism and justice." However it is no secret that Israel remains their target and average Iranians will suffer the consequenses of an attempted attack on Israel.

      Paul - 2011-11-10 08:45

      Get Julius to explain it to you moron.

      Jack - 2011-11-10 10:20

      Paul,consider anger control measurements.

  • George - 2011-11-10 05:09

    dOESNT HE LOOK LIKE A LITTLE RAT?

      Dirk - 2011-11-10 08:54

      Please dont insult rats. This scum bags evil knows no bounds

  • rhys.vetner - 2011-11-10 07:20

    And so the world continues with it's pre-WW2 politics with talk ,talk, talk and more talk.

  • donderwolk - 2011-11-10 08:24

    people, you need to wake up. these wars has got nothing to do with WMD's or liberation, its a CURRENCY WAR and if anybody understands the petrodollar system then you'd see the bigger picture. american dollar system is not backed up by any assets, so what they do is force all countries to trade in dollars if they need oil (we all do need), the surplus of these sales is then invested in US t-bills. so, the only thing they need to export is paper (the us dollar). now, you probably dont know this but it was saddam that said he wants euro's for his oil in 2000, two years later iraq was invaded. gadaffi -who didnt learn from saddam- also decided he wants gold for his oil. his dead too. i hope you guys can see a pattern here now, amedinejad started selling oil to russia and china and is accepting euro's as payment. not good for the dollar, so he needs to go. several countries are get'n tired of the dollar cause its loosing its value, uncontrolled debt with a shrinking gdp being kept under control with taxes everywhere in the us and inflation. doesnt paint a pretty picture, so world is holding off on the dollar. now amedinejad wants to make it worst by not selling in dollars. obama already got protests all over the us and doesnt want to make it worst just before election time, remember he was the one how suppose to bring the troops home, so let israel start this war, they have to. or else the us will not protect them anymore in a area thats really dont like them

      Mthuthuzeli - 2011-11-10 09:47

      The U.S. has become fascist in its death throes as it hurtles toward irrelevancy. These wars and bombings are the acts of a desperate and dying madman. The death twitches are self-evident.

      Fred - 2012-02-08 00:36

      You're still spouting the same absolute nonsense. I wonder how long you can keep going, and how many evil regimes fall by the wayside that you support before you see the light.

  • zeyad.vangreuning - 2011-11-10 10:20

    The Western goverment aliance, is doing anything Iran isnt? If Iran is doing as much as everyone says...they got alot of resources and Influence...More than America/GB and Israel.......

      Fred - 2012-02-08 00:36

      Come again?

  • Braam - 2011-11-10 11:29

    the West must put an end to this AH and bomb them back into the sandage or he will come back with a N Bomb and what then? so plz plz bomb him now...

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