Ahmadinejad: Western 'arrogance' will topple nuke talks

Iranian president tells thousands at rally that world powers should stop being "obstinate;" crowd responds with chants of "death to the US."

November 3, 2010 15:32
2 minute read.
Ahmadinejad speaking to press

Ahmadinejad speaking to press, squinting 311. (photo credit: AP Photo/Osama Faisal)


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TEHERAN, Iran — Iran's president said Wednesday that upcoming talks with six world powers about its disputed nuclear program will fail if those nations continue along what he called a "path of arrogance."

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments, made in an address to a crowd of thousands in northeastern Iran, cast doubt on any possible progress in talks that Teheran has said it is ready to hold with the six powers — the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — sometime after Nov. 10.

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"If you want to continue the previous path of arrogance ... these people (the Iranian nation) will pursue you until you end up in hell," Ahmadinejad said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

The crowd, in the city of Bojnord, responded with chants of "death to the US."

The UN Security Council imposed a fourth round of tough sanctions against Iran in June over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, which at higher levels of processing can be used to make the fissile core of warheads.

At the time, Ahmadinejad dismissed the UN sanctions as "annoying flies" and as useless as "used tissues." In response, he said then that Iran would not hold talks with the West for at least two months to "punish" world powers.

Iran's Supreme National Security Council, which handles the country's nuclear negotiations, and the European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, are now exchanging letters on the date and place of a new meeting.

On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad warned that the new talks will fail if the West seeks to impose tougher conditions than those Teheran rejected last year.

But the Iranian president said a compromise could be reached if Iran is respected.

"The best path for them (world powers) is to respect nations, stop being obstinate, get out of glass palaces and sit down like a polite boy and talk on the basis of justice and respect. If they come like this, they may get results," Ahmadinejad said.

"But if they come with arrogance and deception, the response of the Iranian nation is the same it has already given."

At the same rally, Ahmadinejad condemned Russia's decision not to supply Iran with S-300 missiles in accordance with a previous agreement on Wednesday.

He went on to accuse Russia of "selling out" to Iran's enemies and said that in his eyes, the original deal is still valid and therefore should be carried out.

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