Iran to Obama: Accept nuke deal

Ahmadinejad also rebukes Russia for support of new UN sanctions.

May 26, 2010 13:36
1 minute read.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 311. (photo credit: AP)


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KERMAN, Iran — Iran's president on Wednesday urged US President Barack Obama to accept the Brazilian-brokered nuclear fuel exchange deal, warning that Obama will miss a historic opportunity for improved cooperation from Teheran if the offer is rejected.

Washington has denounced the Iranian offer as a ploy by Teheran to avoid a new round of UN sanctions over its controversial nuclear program, which the West fears is geared toward nuclear weapons.

Iran briefs IAEA on nuclear-fuel swap deal

But the proposal did not deter US, Russia, China, Britain and France — the five permanent Security Council members — from agreeing on a draft fourth set of sanctions against Iran for refusing to completely halt uranium enrichment, as demanded by the United Nations.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday said in the Chinese capital, Beijing, that Teheran's offer, submitted on Monday to the UN's nuclear watchdog, was inadequate and did not address international concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Teheran's offer is similar to a UN-drafted plan that Washington and its allies last year pressed Iran to accept, but which the Mideast nation rejected at the time.

"Mr. Obama must know that this proposal is a historic opportunity ... [Obama should] know that if this opportunity is lost, I doubt the Iranian nation will give a new chance to this gentleman in the future," Ahmadinejad said during a rally in the southern town of Kerman.

Iran questions Russia's friendship

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also issued a stern warning to Russia, saying Moscow's support for the US-led push for a new round of UN sanctions against Iran was contrary to the two countries' neighborly and friendly relations.

Ahmadinejad also singled out Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, saying the neighboring country's leader had caved in to US pressure for new sanctions on Teheran.

"Justifying the behavior of Mr. Medvedev today has become very difficult," he said. "The Iranian nation doesn't know whether [Russians] ultimately are friends, whether they stand by us or are after other things."

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