TEHRAN (FNA)- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the new game western powers have started in the nuclear standoff with Iran would bring them nothing but humiliation.
“The nuclear issue has ended from our point of view,” Ahmadinejad told a gathering of clerics in the holy city of Qom on Thursday.
“Recently they have started a new game – by testing us – but this will result in no achievement for them except humiliation,” he added.
The six main powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – agreed weeks ago on a so-called updated offer of incentives for Iran based on the 2006 version, which is aimed to encourage Iran to give up its Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) right of uranium enrichment.
After handing over the offers to Iran on Saturday, EU policy chief Javier Solana reaffirmed the six powers wanted Iran to suspend enrichment during talks on the
offer – a precondition the Islamic Republic has repeatedly rejected.
Despite repeated statements by Solana and other western leaders that the new offer comprises improved aids to Tehran, western diplomats said that it contained no new major enticement compared with the previous package.
Meantime, Iran has presented West with a package of proposals of its own, which has yet remained unanswered.
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said that Tehran has included the long-term interests of all the relevant sides in its package of proposals presented to the world powers.
It was not clear if Ahmadinejad’s comments were a direct reference to the package.
“In the nuclear issue, the bullying powers have used up all their capabilities but could not break the will of the Iranian nation,” Ahmadinejad said in Qom.
Washington and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.
The Iranian government spokesman has already said Tehran will reject any offer demanding it suspends uranium enrichment.
Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh has also ruled out any freeze on enrichment, saying, “Iran will never submit to such an illegal act.”
Meantime, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that Iran was prepared to hold negotiations on the package and would give its answer in due course.
“We have informed the group of 5+1 countries of our readiness to negotiate over our own peaceful nuclear activities,” he told reporters in Uganda, where he was attending a meeting of Islamic states.
“The package put forward by the 5+1 countries is under consideration in Tehran and we will give the response at an appropriate time,” he added.
The United States, Iran’s arch enemy has never ruled out a resort to military action to end the row with Tehran.
Ahmadinejad again shrugged off any such threat, saying, “Our enemies are not able to inflict any harm on the country.
“Today, the enemies are psychologically so desperate and, thanks to God, any hand that comes after Iran will be quickly cut off.”
After Iran answered outstanding questions of the International Atomic Energy Agency about the history of its past nuclear activities, Tehran said that it will only negotiate with the UN nuclear watchdog from then on. The Islamic Republic has also repeatedly stressed that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of IAEA’s questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities.
Yet, the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran’s nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.
Washington’s push for additional UN penalties contradicts the report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head – one in November and the other one in February – which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seem to be completely irrational.
The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran’s cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran’s nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.
Tehran says it wants to enrich uranium merely for civilian purposes, including generation of electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.
Iran has also insisted that it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.
Many world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure unjustified, especially in the wake of recent IAEA reports saying Iran had increased cooperation with the agency.