Iranian president reiterates that Teheran has achieved full proficiency in the nuclear fuel cycle.
By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated Tuesday that Teheran has achieved full proficiency in the nuclear fuel cycle and warned the West that dialogue and friendship - not threats - were the right way to deal with Iran.
"Today, Iran is a nuclear Iran," Ahmadinejad told a press conference in Teheran. "That means, it fully possesses the whole nuclear fuel cycle."
Ahmadinejad, however, said his country was committed to a "peaceful path" in pursuing its controversial nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad's comments followed an announcement Monday by the International Atomic Energy Agency which said that Teheran was offering some cooperation in the agency's probe of an alleged secret uranium processing project linked by US intelligence to a nuclear arms program.
The IAEA has said that Teheran also outlined its timetable for providing other sensitive information sought by the Vienna, Austria-based UN watchdog in its investigation of over two decades of nuclear activity by the Islamic republic, most of it clandestine until revealed more than four years ago.
The US criticized the deal with the IAEA, saying the agreement won't save Iran from a third set of UN Security Council sanctions for refusing to halt uranium enrichment.
Some in the IAEA have suggested Washington may be trying to derail important progress in the Iranian nuclear negotiations, in a drive to impose new UN penalties.
At the presser in Teheran, Ahmadinejad said the US president was a "wicked, selfish and arrogant" leader who has abused the UN Security Council in a push to stop Iran's nuclear program.
Although the Iranian leader did not name George W. Bush, his remarks were clearly addressed to his US counterpart.
"You saw that your coercion ... was futile," Ahmadinejad said. "Some wicked and selfish leaders stood arrogantly behind the podium to say, 'we won't let them do this' ... You sold out your prestige and stood against a cultured nation... I recommend that you don't repeat this ugly behavior."
The US and its allies fear Teheran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to produce atomic weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying its program is solely geared toward generating electricity.
Uranium conversion is the chemical process that changes raw uranium into the gas fed into centrifuges and spun repeatedly to separate out isotopes. Low enriched uranium can be used to make energy - which Iran insists is its only goal. But highly enriched uranium is used to make nuclear weapons.
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