Reuters: Iran will not be pushed by sanctions to suspend work on its disputed nuclear programme, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday, two days after six world powers met to discuss Iran’s defiance of U.N. demands. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran will not be pushed by sanctions to suspend work on its disputed nuclear programme, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday, two days after six world powers met to discuss Iran’s defiance of U.N. demands.
Senior officials from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany met in Berlin on Thursday to discuss Iran’s refusal to halt its uranium enrichment work, as demanded by the U.N. Security Council.
Some diplomats said the Americans had been eager to discuss possible language for a new sanctions resolution during the Berlin talks.
” … without even retreating one step or giving in to sanctions, threats and the psychological war of Islamic Iran’s enemies, we will move on the path of (nuclear) progress,” the semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
The United Nations has imposed two sets of sanctions on Iran since December over its refusal to freeze enrichment — a process that can be used to make atomic warheads.
The West believes making atomic bombs is Iran’s ultimate goal, but Tehran insists its nuclear programme is solely peaceful aimed at generating electricity.
“We are at the last stage of becoming ‘nuclearised’ and nuclearisation means proving that Iran is worthy of becoming a free, independent and honourable model for other nations,” Mehr quoted Ahmadinejad as telling a group of students.
He did not say what the final stage was but Iran has been pressing ahead with plans to expand its nuclear work to produce its own fuel for a planned network of atomic power plants, although the first such plant is still under construction.
Ahmadinejad is not the most powerful figure in Iran, where the last word lies with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But his comments echo previous comments by Khamenei who has vowed no retreat.
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani also stressed on Friday that Tehran would not stop its atomic activities and said Western powers should not “waste their time”.
Larijani is expected to meet the European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana later in May to resume talks on Iran’s nuclear programme though the exact place and date have not been announced.