Iran Rejects US Year-End Nuclear Deadline
By Admin - Tue Dec 22, 10:45 pm
TEHRAN:Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday again rejected a year-end deadline set by the United States to accept a UN-brokered deal aimed at allaying fears over its nuclear programme.“They say we have given Iran until the end of the Christian year. Who are they anyway? It is we who have given them an opportunity,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech in the city of Shiraz carried live on state television. “If they don’t change their attitude and language we will demand Iranians’ historic rights from them. “Some demons have reported to them that the Iranian government is weakened and it is time to apply pressure,” he said, alluding to the ongoing crisis in Iran sparked by charges that Ahmadinejad’s re-election was massively rigged. “We don’t like conflicts but they should know that today Iranian government and nation are ten-fold stronger than last year,” he said. Several Iranian officials had already dismissed such a deadline to reach a way out of the nuclear crisis.Ahmadinejad told a foreign news agency on Friday that Iran is ready to strike a uranium enrichment deal if the United States and the West respect the Islamic Republic and stop making threats. With a year-end deadline, President Barack Obama’s administration has signaled that time is running out for Iran to seize its offer of diplomatic engagement for resolving nuclear and other issues. It has raised the specter of a fourth round of UN sanctions, but will need to persuade Russia and China to drop their traditional reluctance to consider tougher measures.Iran insists its nuclear programme is solely for civilian purposes and rejects Western suspicions that it is covertly trying to develop a bomb. Tehran has also rejected a US-backed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proposal to ship abroad low-grade nuclear fuel so it can be further enriched and returned to refuel a Tehran medical research reactor.