Ahmadinejad rules out further nuclear concessions; attacks Israel again
(WJC)–At a conference in Istanbul, Turkey, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said his country would not give any more ground on its nuclear program. A deal to swap fuel, negotiated with Turkey and Brazil, was an opportunity for the West to break the deadlock that would “not be repeated”. The deal resurrected elements of a UN-backed offer for Tehran to part with 1,200kg of low-enriched uranium – potential nuclear weapons material – in return for special fuel rods to make medical isotopes.
US officials have criticized the deal as too little, too late – partly because it would not stop Iran enriching uranium – and described it as an attempt to delay sanctions. “The meeting in Tehran [where the deal was brokered] created an opportunity for the US administration and for its allies, and we still hope that they will be able to use this opportunity,” Ahmadinejad said. “We say that this opportunity will not be repeated.” He warned that, if the US failed to change its stance, “the first ones to lose would be President Obama and the people of the United States”.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ‘Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia’ (CICA) summit in Istanbul, Ahmadinejad also criticized Russia – whose prime minister, Vladimir Putin, was attending the conference – for backing the sanctions. The Iranian leader warned Russia to “be careful not to be beside the enemies of the Iranian people”.
Ahmadinejad also launched another blistering attack on Israel. The raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla had sounded “the death knell of the Zionist regime,” he told an enthusiastic crowd at Istanbul’s Abou Ayyoub Ansari Mosque. The Iranian leader accused Israel of “unmatched crimes in the course of sixty some years of its history, that have been unprecedented in the history of mankind, the last of which has been invading the Gaza Peace Flotilla.” The crowd reportedly responded with “Allahu akbar” (God is great).
The Iranian president said Turkey and Iran were the “standard bearers of humanity and moralities.” He said that “everyone should know that the relations between the two countries are friendly, brotherly and deep rooted today.”
Turkey intended to propose a resolution to the 20 CICA member states condemning Israel’s raid.
On Monday, Israeli officials said the two ships the Iranian Red Crescent had announced it would be sending to Gaza would not be allowed to reach their destination. “If we didn’t let an Irish ship reach Gaza, we are certainly not going to let Iranian ships pass,” one diplomatic official told the ‘Jerusalem Post’.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress.