Ahmadinejad: 'Iran won't be scared by embargoes'

Iranian president says country "does not need nuclear weapons to defend itself"; foreign ministry slams Western powers' involvement.

Ahmadinejad smiling, waving 311 (photo credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
Ahmadinejad smiling, waving 311
(photo credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that embargoes are ineffectual and the West should drop its aggressive approach if talks on Teheran's nuclear program are to be successful.
Ahmadinejad said Thursday at a Caspian Sea summit in Azerbaijan that Iran is ready to return to six-party talks on its atomic energy program.
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He added that the West "must reject its exploitative approach" toward Iran if any breakthroughs are to be made, and that "Iran won't be scared by embargoes."
On Wednesday,  the Iranian Foreign Ministry slammed Western powers for trying to block Iran-Russia cooperation, AFP reported.
"We cannot allow far away countries to prevent our cooperation and strategic partnership," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast in a Wednesday interview with Russia Today.
"We have longstanding relations with Russia and we hope to cooperate in the long-term with this country," he said. "Our countries have an enormous potential for political, economic and technological cooperation."
Ahmadinejad and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are expected to meet on Thursday.

Also on Wednesday, in a press conference in Azerbaijan, Ahmadinejad said his country does not need a nuclear bomb,  PressTV reported.

"The Iranian nation does not need a nuclear bomb to defend itself, as Iran's nuclear bomb is its bravery and national honor,” Ahmadinejad said to a crowd of Iranians residing in the neighboring country.

He reportedly added that "nuclear bombs belong to those countries that are backward in a historical sense, and the Iranian nation has no use for it."

He also said that, despite Western opposition, "today there are 6,000 centrifuges performing nuclear enrichment" in Iran, and that his response to sanctions is "to access pinnacles of growth and progress one by one."