AFP: Tehran will not negotiate with countries that refuse it the right to nuclear energy, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday during a state visit to Algeria. by Hassen Zenati
ALGIERS, Aug 7, 2007 (AFP) – Tehran will not negotiate with countries that refuse it the right to nuclear energy, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday during a state visit to Algeria.
“Iran cannot talk to countries which do not recognise its right to produce nuclear energy for peaceful means,” Ahmadinejad told a news conference on the second day of his visit.
He accused Western powers of mobilising all their energy to isolate Iran on this question but underlined Tehran’s determination to continue efforts to acquire nuclear energy.
US President George W. Bush this week blasted the government in Tehran as “not a force for good” and vowed to pursue efforts to isolate Iran over its suspect nuclear programme.
“We will continue to work to isolate it because they’re not a force for good as far as we can see, they’re a destabilizing influence wherever they are,” Bush said at a joint news conference with Afghan President Ahmad Karzai.
Iran is engaged in a standoff with the UN Security Council over its nuclear programme. The United States has led the accusations that Iran seeks a nuclear bomb and the Security Council has imposed sanctions demanding that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment.
Four International Atomic Energy Agency officials arrived in Iran Monday for talks aimed at agreeing a framework for future inspections of the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz in central Iran.
Iran has repeatedly refused to yield to the pressure despite two sets of UN Security Council sanctions.
In a hard-hitting new broadside against Israel, the Iranian leader also said “the whole of humankind today has been bruised by crimes perpetrated by Zionists in Palestine, in Lebanon, and in the whole world,” Algeria’s APS news agency reported.
“All those felled as martyrs in the streets of Palestine are our children, all those who are rotting in Israeli jails are our children and our mothers and fathers,” he said, while visiting veterans of Algeria’s independence war.
“We support all those Palestinians, Lebanese, North African Arabs and people in Africa, Asia and Latin America who today are fighting a battle with the global hegemonists,” he added.
Ahmadinejad, who in 2005 made waves by calling for Israel to be “wiped from the map”, continued his attacks in a hard-hitting interview published just ahead of his visit.
“Our support (for the Palestinian people) is unconditional. As for the Israelis, let them go find somewhere else (to live),” Ahmadinejad told several Algerian newspapers.
He provoked a storm in June by saying a “countdown” had begun that would end with Lebanese and Palestinian militants destroying Israel.
His government last year hosted a conference on the Holocaust that questioned the reality of the Nazis’ genocide of the Jews during World War II.