Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Ahmadinejad: "...Talks involving the US & Iran are likely to resume in the near future ..."

Via Friday-Lunch-Club

Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is pictured. | Reuters Photo
"..."We have always been prepared to talk," Ahmadinejad told American reporters at a press breakfast arranged by Iran's foreign ministry. "We are prepared now as well and I probably would say there is a good chance that talks will resume in the near future."...
Ahmadinejad also dismissed the idea of a military confrontation with Iran by either the United States or Israel, which he repeatedly referred to as the "zionist regime." "No one can clash with Iran," Ahmadinejad said. "There is no reason -- no excuse for it. There is no background for it. What is left is to talk. We believe that in the United States there are many people who are rational, logical, who are decision-makers, who can make the right decisions eventually."
Flanked by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and close advisor Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie - who is also Iran’s first vice president - Ahmadinejad answered questions from about two dozen American reporters for about 90 minutes....
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to discuss international efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear program in a meeting in New York this week with other permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. Iran is not expected to participate in those talks, but U.S. officials are hopeful that international discussions may resume this fall.
In the meeting with reporters, Ahmadinejad showed his customary bravado on the issue of sanctions – specifically the fourth round of Iran sanctions passed by the UN Security Council in June. "Iran has been under sanctions and embargoes for thirty years," he said. "When Saddam Hussein attacked Iran, Iran was sanctioned. Those who backed Saddam sanctioned Iran," the Iranian leader said. "They thought Iran's survival would end. But you can see, I am sitting here today and Iran is more advanced, more powerful.
On the issue of Iran's nuclear program, Ahmadinejad reasserted Iran's right to enrichment under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, of which Iran is a member. But he said Iran was not committed to continue the twenty-percent-higher enrichment it began to undertake earlier this year, saying it would be more economical for Iran to buy that higher enriched fuel for nuclear medical use from abroad. He also reasserted that Iran was against nuclear weapons.
If the international community had provided Iran with the nuclear isotopes for Iran's nuclear medical needs, "it would be cheaper than for us to make it,” Ahmadinejad said “We had to produce a new plan to produce it."
Ahmadinejad similarly complained that recent reports by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency criticizing Iran for lack of full compliance in answering its questions on its nuclear program were driven by politics. And he accused the IAEA leaking the Iran reports to the media.
"The IAEA is supposed to protect the information of member states,” he said. “It does not have a right to publish that information. Why is Iran made an exception to this rule? Why are details of our program given to everyone? This is illegal.”
On the issue of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Ahmadinejad said it was up to the Palestinians to decide what they want, not outside negotiators. He contended that he was not anti-Jewish and pointed out that Iran has one of the largest Jewish communities in the Middle East. But, he said, he was against Zionism.
“I am not an anti-Semite,” he said. “I am opposed to Zionism, which is based on racist ideas, and which has [caused] wars that terrorized others.”...
Ahmadinejad always does a blitz of American media interviews when he makes a U.S. visit and this year was no exception. He granted interviews to ABC's Christiane Amanpour, NBC's Andrea Mitchell, and appeared on Bloomberg's Charlie Rose Monday before the Tuesday press event, and is due to meet with foreign policy think tank specialists Thursday evening. ..."
Posted by G, Z, or B at 4:42 PM

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