Ahmadinejad dismisses threats on nukes

2012-09-25 11:02
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the United Nations General Assembly. (File, AP)

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the United Nations General Assembly. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday dismissed threats of military action against Iran's nuclear programme, arguing that his country's project to enrich uranium is only for peaceful purposes and saying that Iran has no worries about a possible Israeli attack.

Ahmadinejad spoke before a group of editors and news executives after his arrival in New York for the annual UN General Assembly. He told the group that it was not too late for dialogue with the United States to resolve differences.

But in his remarks, Ahmadinejad sought to delegitimise US ally Israel's historic ties to the Middle East and its political and military power in the region and the world, saying that Israelis "do not even enter the equation for Iran".

"Fundamentally, we do not take seriously threats of the Zionists," said Ahmadinejad. "We believe the Zionists see themselves at a dead end and they want to find an adventure to get out of this dead end. While we are fully ready to defend ourselves, we do not take these threats seriously."

Ahmadinejad declared Israel has no place in the Middle East, saying that Iran has been around for thousands of years while the modern state of Israel has existed only for the last 60 or so years. "They have no roots there in history," he said.

White House press secretary Jay Carney responded to Ahmadinejad's remarks, telling a midday news briefing, "Well, President Ahmadinejad says foolish, offensive and sometimes unintelligible things with great regularity. What he should focus on is the failure of his government of Iran to abide by its international obligations, to abide by United Nations Security Council resolutions."

Inflammatory rhetoric

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had met with Ahmadinejad on Sunday and "urged Iran to take the measures necessary to build international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme", UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said.

The UN chief also raised the potentially harmful consequences of inflammatory rhetoric "from various countries in the Middle East", Nesirky said.

On other topics in his meeting with editors, Ahmadinejad said that Iran favours a negotiated settlement to the civil war in Syria, and denied that Tehran is providing weapons or training to the government of President Bashar Assad, as Assad's opponents and others have alleged.

"We like and love both sides, and we see both sides as brothers," he said. He referred to the conflict in Syria as "tribal" fighting and said that international "meddling from the outside has made the situation even harder".

He refused to say whether Iran would accept a government not led by the Assad regime, which for years has been Iran's closest ally in the Middle East.

Ahmadinejad met journalists in the mid-town hotel where he was saying. It was Ahmadinejad's eighth visit to the UN gathering held each September, which he cited as proof that he is open to understanding other countries' views.

Last New York trip

In spite of his assertions on the importance of dialogue and respect for others, Ahmadinejad presented a hard line in many areas.

He refused to speak of the state of Israel by name and instead referred only to the "Zionists", and when asked about author Salman Rushdie he made no attempt to distance himself from recent renewed threats on the author's life emanating from an Iranian semi-official religious foundation. "If he is in the US, you should not broadcast it for his own safety," Ahmadinejad said.

He said this would be his last trip to New York as president of Iran, because his term is ending and he is barred from seeking a third consecutive term. But he did not rule out staying active in Iranian politics and said he might return as part of future Iranian delegations to New York.

Ahmadinejad said the argument over Iran's nuclear programme was a political rather than a legal matter and needs to be resolved politically.

"We are not expecting that a 33-year-old problem between America and Iran to be resolved in speedy discussions, but we do believe in dialogue."

Later in the day, Ahmadinejad took aim at both the United States and Israel while addressing a high-level UN meeting promoting the rule of law, accusing Washington of shielding what he called a nuclear-armed "fake regime".

Anti-Islam video

His remarks prompted a walkout by Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor.

"Ahmadinejad showed again that he not only threatens the future of the Jewish people, he seeks to erase our past," Prosor said in a statement. "Three thousand years of Jewish history illustrate the clear danger of ignoring fanatics like Iran's president, especially as he inches closer to acquiring nuclear weapons."

Ahmadinejad also alluded to the amateur anti-Islam video made in the US that has caused protests across the Muslim world, accusing the United States and others of misusing freedom of speech and failing to speak out against the defamation of people's beliefs and "divine prophets".

- AP

Read more on:    mahmoud ahmadinejad  |  iran  |  un  |  iran nuclear programme  |  middle east peace  |  nuclear
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Cape Town - 16:15 PM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights - Allow Extra Tavel Time
  • Friday Kuils River - 09:28 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Code 10 Drivers

Cape Town
Mobile Recruitment
R6 500 - R7 000 Per Month

Course Consultant

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Faculty Training Institute (Pty) Ltd
R10 000 - R12 000 Per Month

Job: Senior SQL Developer, Global Agency, Cape Town. R30k –R45k

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Initiate International
R30 000 - R45 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The day may have a fluctuating sensitive energy to begin with, but later when the Moon moves into dramatic and creative Leo you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.