Reuters: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday Iran wanted further talks to address the West’s concerns about its nuclear program but said the country would not abandon its efforts to make nuclear fuel. TEHRAN (Reuters) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday Iran wanted further talks to address the West’s concerns about its nuclear program but said the country would not abandon its efforts to make nuclear fuel.
Iran has been in talks with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who has sought to coax Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. But Solana said on Wednesday that Tehran had not agreed to halt the work despite four months of discussions.
Solana said it was time for Iran to decide if the dialogue should continue.
“We are ready to talk to remove the concerns. We want talks to continue but if anyone thinks talks can be used to pressure us they are wrong,” Ahmadinejad told a rally in a town west of Tehran, broadcast live on state television.
The speech coincided with Solana’s comments.
“They are wrong if they think that the Iranian nation, in its path to obtain nuclear technology, will be stopped even for a second because of their rejection, nagging and frowning,” the president said.
“Today, the Iranian nation unanimously has one demand …. which is obtaining its obvious right to nuclear technology,” he said, to which the crowd chanted: “Nuclear technology is our obvious right.”
Ahmadinejad often uses Iran’s nuclear standoff with the West as a rallying cry in his tours of the country, but he is not Iran’s most powerful figure. The final word in all matters of state lies with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The West accuses Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons, but Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil exporter, insists it only wants to master nuclear technology to make electricity.