Khamenei hails Ahmadinejad's 'nuclear success'

Iran's supreme leader also blasts reformists who urged concessions in the nuclear standoff.

Khamenei 224.88  (photo credit: AP)
Khamenei 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday praised President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's role in the "great success" of Iran's nuclear program, indicating that the Iranian president has his full backing in the atomic standoff with the West. Khamenei also commended the Iranian people and the parliament. "One of the examples of achievements in last 29 years (since the Islamic revolution) is the nuclear issue," Khamenei told Iran's clerical body the Assembly of Experts, in a broadcast on state television. "Here the Iranian nation has rightfully and justly reached a great success and a remarkable achievement." Iranian state radio quoted Khamenei as also saying: "The personal role of the president and his resistance in the nuclear case is very clear." His comments came days after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), issued a key report on Iran's nuclear activities. The IAEA said it was still not in a position to determine the "full nature of Iran's nuclear program," but also confirmed that Teheran was continuing to defy the UN Security Council by enriching uranium and had started experimenting with more efficient uranium-enriching centrifuges. Khamenei also blasted reformists who dominated the previous Iranian parliament (2000-2004) and had urged concessions in the nuclear standoff. "Alongside the resistance of the people, the seventh parliament (sitting from 2004-2008), unlike some in the previous period, really stood and insisted" on the nuclear issue, he said. "I do not know how to thank people who have stood up all over the country over the nuclear issue," Khamenei added. The supreme leader urged a massive turnout in the parliamentary election on March 14 and accused the West of trying to cause divisions inside Iran by dividing its political factions into "hardliners" and "moderates". "But thanks to God, the commitment to Islamic principles is dominant in society," said Khamenei.