Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Here's a Laugh
By NASSER KARIMI
Associated Press Writer
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday said the West should apologize to Iran for accusing it of trying to develop a nuclear weapons program and said his country would continue to resist international pressure to halt its nuclear energy program.
``Today they tell our nation that nuclear energy is a bad thing and it is not necessary for our people to have it. But the nation of Iran has stood (for its right),'' he said in a televised speech to mark the Iranian New Year, which begins Tuesday. ``Those who head war and crimes accused the Iranian nation of war seeking. They insulted our nation. I do advise them to apologize.''
Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes but Western countries who believe otherwise have pushed for United Nations action - including possible sanctions - against the country.
Ahmadinejad stressed that Iran would not give up its nuclear rights.
``Today we announce with pride that the peaceful knowledge and technology are at our disposal in order to be used for different purposes, including electricity generation, and we have not borrowed it from anybody that can take it away from us,'' he said.
Ahmadinejad reiterated that Iran should be compensated for a two and a half year suspension of its nuclear activities. Under heavy pressure from the West, Iran suspended its enrichment of uranium and related activities in 2003 and began negotiating with Germany, Britain and France to reach an agreed framework for its nuclear development. It resumed nuclear research earlier this year when talks failed.
The United States and its European allies want Iran to permanently abandon uranium enrichment and all related activities, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel for reactors or materials for a nuclear bomb.
ADD ON From Reuters on same speech
"No one can take away our nuclear technology. The Iranian nation has obtained it and will preserve it. Some are against the Iranian nation's development," he said in a televised address to mark the start of the Iranian year on March 21.
"A while ago, they were against the nationalisation of our oil industry. They were saying that this (oil) smelt bad and is useless and you don't need it. That day the Iranian nation resisted, and today they are saying the same things about nuclear energy," he said.
"The Iranian nation will resist with God's help," he added.
They were hoping through propaganda and psychological war to take this (nuclear technology) away from us. I am suggesting to them to learn their lesson and apologise to the Iranian nation," he said.
"They should be sure that if they continue, they will regret continuing to make baseless propaganda against Iran," he said without elaborating.