UPI: Iran reaffirmed its determination to enrich uranium as the U.S. led a naval training exercise in Gulf waters aimed at blocking the smuggling of nuclear weapons. United Press International
TEHRAN, Oct. 30 (UPI) — Iran reaffirmed its determination to enrich uranium as the U.S. led a naval training exercise in Gulf waters aimed at blocking the smuggling of nuclear weapons.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday the Iranian people will respond firmly to any move aimed at tightening the noose around its efforts to achieve nuclear and scientific development.
“The Iranian people stood up unwavering despite all the sanctions which have been imposed on Iran and was able to reach summits in nuclear achievements,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by Iranian news agency IRNA.
“If additional sanctions are imposed on the Iranians, they will be able, nevertheless, to reach heights in progress and advance,” he added.
Ahmadinejad stressed that “imposing additional sanctions on Iran will not affect the Iranians people because Iran has been subject to isolation and sanctions for 27 years but that did not stop it from progressing.”
The hardline Iranian president was highly critical of European countries, and directed some of his speech at them: “You know very well that the sanctions will not affect us. … So why stain your reputation and belittle your stance before peoples of the world in addition to provoking their hatred?”
Ahmadinejad lashed out Britain, which is seeking to impose sanctions on Iran through the Security Council, saying “the British government is weak at present and not even capable of running its own internal affairs.”
In the meantime, U.S.-led military maneuvers off the coast of Iran continued for the second day Monday with the participation of several Western and European countries.
The exercise comes at a time when the United States is seeking support for sanctions against Iran for its nuclear program.
Iran criticized the maneuvers. “We do not consider this exercise appropriate,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Sunday. “We are watching their movements, very carefully.”