Haaretz: Ahmadinejad: Israel can't do 'damn thing' to stop Iran's nuclear program
- Last update - 15:22 02/12/2009
Ahmadinejad: Israel can't do 'damn thing' to stop Iran's nuclear program
By News Agencies
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1132244.htmlIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday Israel could not do a "damn thing" to stop the Islamic state's nuclear program, which the West suspects is a front to build bombs."The Zionist regime (Israel) and its (western) backers cannot do a damn thing to stop Iran's nuclear work," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech in the central city of Isfahan.Ahmadinejad rejected on Wednesday as "illegal" a UN nuclear watchdog resolution over the country's disputed nuclear activities, state television reported.
"Under pressure of a few superficially powerful countries ... the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed an illegal resolution against the Iranian nation," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech in the central city of Isfahan.The IAEA passed a resolution on Friday censuring Iran for covertly constructing a second enrichment plant near the holy city of Qom, in addition to its IAEA-monitored one at Natanz, and demanding a construction halt.Tehran said on Sunday it would build 10 more uranium enrichment sites in retaliation for the resolution, which sailed through with unusual Russian and Chinese support.Ahmadinejad says Iran will enrich its uranium to a higher level in direct contravention to an international call to halt the process.Ahmadinejad expressed frustration with negotiations over a U.N.-backed deal to swap Iran's low-enriched uranium for higher-enriched fuel rods to power its medical research reactor.He told a crowd of thousands Wednesday in the southern city of Isfahan that Iran will produce 20 percent enriched uranium and anything it needs for its nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday his country did not have to tell the United Nations nuclear agency about its plans to build nuclear sites unless it used imported technology."We are not obliged to inform the International Atomic Energy Agency about our plans to build nuclear sites unless the technology is imported," Ahmadinejad told state television.The Iranian leader's comments came after the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tuesday that it would demand Tehran clarify its announcement made earlier this week regarding intentions to expand its uranium enrichment program.Ahmadinejad added that international sanctions over the Islamic Republic's nuclear work would have no effect and any aggression against the Islamic state would be regretted."Sanctions will have no effect. Aggressors will regret their action as soon as they put their finger on the trigger," he said.The United States said on Tuesday it prefers to continue what it called the "engagement route" but warned that it would "go down the second track" if Iran did not cooperate."We think that we've made some very good proposals that will address their concerns, and will help them reap some rewards for their own civilian nuclear program, reap rewards in the sense of greater cooperation, integration with the international community," said State Department spokesman Ian Kelly. "But if they continue not to give us a positive answer, then they'll leave us with no other choice but to go down the second track."Kelly added that the U.S. is also concerned about Iran providing support to terrorist organizations."We do have concerns about Iran providing support - material support - to terrorists," said Kelly. "We have a number of sanctions in place already with Iran. And part of those sanctions addressed just this, the shipment of weapons out of Iran."Kelly conitnued, "We're hoping that they will help us address these concerns...by engaging with us. We haven't closed the door on this engagement. But time is running out."