Ahmadinejad 224 ap.
(photo credit: )
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the United State report on Iran was a "declaration of victory" for Iran's nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad was referring to a US National Intelligence Estimate on Iran released Monday that concluded Iran had stopped its weapons program in late 2003 and shown no signs since of resuming it.
"This is a declaration of victory for the Iranian nation against the world powers over the nuclear issue," Ahmadinejad told thousands of people during a visit to Ilam province in western Iran.
"This was a final shot to those who, in the past several years, spread a sense of threat and concern in the world through lies of nuclear weapons ... Thanks to your resistance, a fatal shot was fired at the dreams of ill-wishers and the truthfulness of the Iranian nation was once again proved by the ill-wishers themselves," Ahmadinejad said, drawing celebratory whistles from the crowd.
Iran has touted the new US intelligence report as vindication of its claims that its nuclear program is peaceful and Iranian officials insist that Washington should take a less hawkish stance and drop attempts to impose new sanctions in light of the report's conclusions that Teheran had halted its weapons program four years ago.
US President George W. Bush defended his approach Tuesday, saying Iran was still dangerous and must be squeezed by international pressure despite the blockbuster intelligence finding.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said the new US intelligence report meant that Washington's push to refer the case over Iran's nuclear program to the UN Security Council in 2006 was "illegal."
"One of the consequences of this report is that referring Iran's nuclear issue to the UN Security Council was illegal because, based on the report by US intelligence agencies, Iran had no nuclear weapons program when the issue was referred to the UN Security Council in 2006," Hosseini said in a statement Tuesday.
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