Iranian president wants to punish West over sanctions
Iranian President Ahmadinejad (C) waves to his supporters while visiting the city of Shahrekord in the Chahar Mahal Va Bakhtiari province .
The United Nations Security Council approved a new round of sanctions against Iran last week for its refusal to curb the country’s nuclear program, which the US and its allies suspect is aimed at producing weapons. Iran denies that. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran favors a dialogue with the West, but will announce its conditions soon. He said the carrot-and-stick approach doesn’t work and Iran will not make “one iota of concessions” to the West. “You showed bad temper, reneged on your promise and again resorted to devilish manners,” he said of the powers that imposed sanctions. “We set conditions [for talks] so that, God willing, you’ll be punished a bit and sit at the negotiating table like a polite child,” he told a crowd during a visit to the central Iranian town of Shahr-e-Kord. His speech was broadcast live on state TV.
Ahmadinejad also attacked the US, saying Iran needs to save Americans from “their undemocratic and bullying government.” He charged there was no freedom in the US and newspapers in America were not authorized to write against the Zionists or hold rallies against the “crimes” committed by their government. Ahmadinejad was reacting to an invitation by the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili to discuss the nuclear issue. At the same time, though, EU foreign ministers agreed Monday to recommend additional sanctions over the nuclear issue.
The U.N. sanctions were imposed because of Iran’s refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can be used in both the production of nuclear fuel for power plants or nuclear weapons. The punishments target the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, its ballistic missile program and nuclear-related investments.