Ahmadinejad warns West more sanctions will deepen rift with Teheran

Says the era of Western global domination is over, urges Western leaders to "wake up from their dream-filled sleep."

Ahmadinejad dont mess (photo credit: AP)
Ahmadinejad dont mess
(photo credit: AP)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday warned the West that it would deepen the rift with Iran by imposing more UN sanctions in punishment for Teheran's refusal to halt its disputed nuclear program. "You are wrong if you think you can sit and draft ... something in order to isolate the Iranian nation," Ahmadinejad lashed out at the UN Security Council as he addressed several thousand people in the central Iranian city of Yazd. "Not only are you unable to hurt Iran, but you would further isolate yourselves and make yourselves more hated," he added, referring to the West. But staunchly absent from Ahmadinejad's rhetoric was any mention of Russia's decision Monday to postpone a crucial shipment of fuel for the Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr because of Iran's payment delays. Without Russian uranium, the plant cannot begin generating electricity. The move by Iran's key ally was a major political blow to Teheran. Russia also used unusually strong language this week to criticize Iran for failing to meet UN deadlines over the uranium enrichment program. Iran had expected the Bushehr reactor on stream by September. The fully operational nuclear plan would have given a boost to Teheran's nuclear negotiating position. The major powers in the UN Security Council are discussing a new package of sanctions against Iran and appear to be moving closer to agreement on new measures to pressure Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. The UN Security Council in December unanimously impose limited sanctions against Iran for its refusal to freeze enrichment. After Teheran failed to meet a late February deadline to suspend enrichment under the December resolution, senior representatives of the five permanent Security Council members - Russia, China, the United States, Britain and France, along with Germany - have been discussing possible new sanctions. The new package is likely to include an embargo on arms exports and an asset freeze on more individuals and companies linked to Teheran's nuclear and missile programs. Russia's move indicated Moscow's annoyance with Iran's intransigence. Iranian officials claimed Moscow was bowing to international pressure to take a tougher line against Teheran. But Ahmadinejad on Wednesday said the era of Western global domination was over. He urged Western leaders to "wake up from their dream-filled sleep." "They say, 'We want to isolate the Iranian nation,' but what business is it of theirs," Ahmadinejad said of the mounting international pressure on his government. The United States and some of its European allies fear Iran is using uranium enrichment to secretly build nuclear weapons. Iran denies the charge, saying its nuclear program is for generating electricity, not bombs. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, says that while there is no evidence to prove that Iran's nuclear program has diverted toward weapons, Teheran has stepped up enrichment rather than halt it since the sanctions were imposed. Iran says it will never give up its right under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to enrich uranium and produce nuclear fuel.