Iran General NewsAhmadinejad says Bush administration can't hurt Iran

Ahmadinejad says Bush administration can’t hurt Iran

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ImageBloomberg: George W. Bush's administration is in its dying days and won't be able to harm Iran, the Islamic Republic's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said.

By Ladane Nasseri

ImageJune 11 (Bloomberg) — George W. Bush's administration is in its dying days and won't be able to harm Iran, the Islamic Republic's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said.

"It's Bush's dream to harm Iran's nation," Ahmadinejad said today during a televised speech in the western Iranian city of Shahre Kord. "You thought you would be able to do something but your term came to an end and you will not be capable of harming even 1 centimeter of Iran's sacred land."

The Bush administration has accused the government in Tehran of supporting insurgents in neighboring Iraq who have fought American troops there, and of backing Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The U.S. has also led the push for international sanctions to punish Iran for flouting United Nations demands to halt its nuclear program. While stressing that it wants a diplomatic solution to the dispute over the atomic work, the Bush administration hasn't ruled out the use of force. The U.S. has accused Iran of seeking to build an atomic weapon, while Ahmadinejad's government says the program is designed to fuel power stations.

Bush won backing yesterday from the European Union for tighter sanctions against Iranian banks, another step aimed at hampering Iran's ability to build nuclear weapons. European Commission President Jose Barroso, meeting with Bush in Slovenia, agreed to take "additional measures" to ensure that Iranian banks cannot abuse the international banking system to support "proliferation and terrorism," according to a joint statement released at the end of the talks.

Deterring Iran

Deterring Iran's nuclear ambitions is the overarching focus of Bush's weeklong farewell tour of Europe.

"We spent a lot of time on Iran," Bush said following the Slovenia talks. "Iran with a nuclear weapon would be incredibly dangerous for world peace. They can either face isolation or they can have a better relationship with all of us."

EU and U.S. leaders talked about freezing Iranian bank assets, though the measures must be agreed on by foreign ministers of the 27-nation bloc, according to EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who was at the meeting.

Earlier this week, Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar warned there would be a "painful response" to any attack on his country by Israel, the Associated Press reported, citing the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

Najjar was responding to comments by Israeli Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, who said in an interview published by the Yediot Ahronot newspaper that Israel will have to attack if Iran continues with its nuclear-development program.

The comments by Mofaz, a possible contender for the post of prime minister, were denounced as "foolish" by Najjar.

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