AFP: Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pledged on Monday that Iran would never yield to Western pressure over its nuclear programme, and it would outsmart “drunken and arrogant” Western opponents in the standoff. TEHRAN (AFP) Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pledged on Monday that Iran would never yield to Western pressure over its nuclear programme, and it would outsmart “drunken and arrogant” Western opponents in the standoff.
The renewed expression of defiance from Iran’s undisputed number one came after US President George W. Bush said last week that allowing Tehran’s nuclear drive to continue unabated could spark a “nuclear holocaust.”
“The Iranian nation has withstood and it will withstand intimidation. It will never bow to any intimidation in the nuclear issue and in other matters,” state broadcasting quoted Khamenei as telling a group of elite students.
“Iran will defeat these drunken and arrogant powers using its artful and wise ways,” he added.
Washington accuses Tehran of seeking to acquire nuclear weapons — an allegation vehemently denied by the Islamic republic — and has never ruled out taking military action against it.
“Iran’s active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust,” Bush said on August 28.
Khamenei slammed Bush’s latest verbal attack, calling it “hateful, arrogant and violent.”
The sharpening rhetoric between the two arch-foes comes amid renewed cooperation between Iran and the UN atomic energy agency to answer outstanding questions on the nature of Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
While the Vienna-based watchdog has described the agreement with Tehran as a significant step forward, Washington has expressed serious reservations that it does not go far enough.
In any case, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Mohamed ElBaradei was quoted as telling Der Spiegel on Saturday that the agreement could be Iran’s “last chance” to resolve the crisis.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, reaffirmed his view that the IAEA deal meant that Iran’s nuclear case was “closed” and there was no danger of it facing military action.
“With the help of God and the resistance of the supreme leader and the nation of Iran, we think that the nuclear case is closed,” Ahmadinejad told a meeting of Non-Aligned Movement countries in Tehran on Monday.
In a speech the day earlier he sought to justify his confidence that the United States would not attack Iran, saying the proof comes from his mathematical skills as an engineer and his faith in God.
He said he told people who believed otherwise: “I am an engineer and I am a master in calculation and tabulation.
“I draw up tables. For hours, I write out different hypotheses. I reject, I reason. I reason with planning and I make a conclusion. They cannot make problems for Iran.”
Ahmadinejad has long expressed pride in his academic prowess. He has a PhD in transport engineering and planning from Tehran’s Science and Technology University and is the author of several scientific papers.
The deeply religious president said his second reason was: “I believe in what God says.
“God says that those who walk in the path of righteousness will be victorious. What reason can you have for believing God will not keep this promise?”
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has already warned that Iran risks being bombed if the nuclear crisis is not resolved. But Ahmadinejad brushed off the comments which he said were due to his French counterpart’s inexperience.