Iran rejects US call to halt nuke work

Ahmadinejad aide says Obama should "act realistically to avoid repeating Bush's mistakes."

Ahmadinejad finger 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Ahmadinejad finger 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Iran will not halt its nuclear activities as demanded by US President Barack Obama's administration, Aliakbar Javanfekr, a close aide to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Reuters on Wednesday. "We have no non-peaceful activities to suspend. All our activities are peaceful and under the supervision of the IAEA," he said. Javanfekr also dismissed UN resolutions demanding Iran suspend uranium enrichment. "We have passed that stage. We have rejected resolutions. Those resolutions were issued under US pressure. We work in the framework of international laws." "Obama should act realistically to avoid repeating (George W.) Bush's mistakes," he added. Three rounds of UN sanctions have been imposed on Iran but Javanfekr said they were "ineffective." Javanfekr also rejected Obama's calls for Iran to "unclench its fist," saying its was "illogical to talk about unclenching fists when Iran is surrounded by American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq." Referring to the Obama administration's suggestion of direct talks, Javanfekr said, "We are ready for talks with some preconditions ... including ending America's military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan," he said and repeated the demand for an apology. Earlier Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for "profound changes" in US foreign policy - including an end to support for Israel and an apology to the Islamic republic for past misdeeds. Ahmadinejad also urged Washington to withdraw its troops stationed around the world. He said Iran would be closely watching what President Barack Obama's new administration does and would welcome a real shift in its approach.