US intercepts Iranian arms to Taliban

Ahmadinejad shrugs off West's threats of new sanctions over nuclear program.

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June 13, 2007 12:05
1 minute read.
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President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday shrugged off the West's criticism of Tehran's controversial nuclear program and said that eventual new UN sanctions would not harm Iran. Meanwhile, the United States said Wednesday it had "irrefutable" evidence that Iran is transferring weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan, with the knowledge of the Iranian government, and NATO has intercepted some of the shipments, said a senior US diplomat on Wednesday. "There's irrefutable evidence the Iranians are now doing this," said Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns on CNN. "It's certainly coming from the government of Iran. It's coming from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard corps command, which is a basic unit of the Iranian government." Speaking to a crowd of several thousand supporters in the city of Semnan, 235 kilometers (150 miles) southeast of Tehran during a two-day provincial trip, the Iranian leader stuck to his belligerent rhetoric. "This nation will punch its intimidators in the mouth," said Ahmadinejad, in a reference to US-led group of Western nations that have chastised Iran over its uranium enrichment. His speech was broadcast live on state television. "You, the West, have to know that your resolutions will not be worth a red cent for the Iranian nation," added Ahmadinejad. The UN Security Council is preparing to debate a third set of sanctions against the Islamic republic in response to Teheran's continuing refusal to suspend the enrichment, which can produce fuel for civilian energy or fissile material for a bomb. Referring to two previous rounds of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council, Ahmadinejad said they had no negative impact on his country and reiterated that Iran would not give in its right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology under any circumstance. But in contrast to Ahmadinejad, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Wednesday the nuclear dispute requires a "logical solution." "The necessity of choosing a logical solution becomes stronger, day by day," Mottaki was quoted as saying by official IRNA news agency after meeting ambassadors of Arab countries in Teheran. In an overture to the international community, Mottaki proposed that an international "consortium" on enrichment be set up.

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