Tags: Iran: | U.S. | Needs | 'Punch | the | Mouth'

Iran: U.S. Needs a 'Punch in the Mouth'

Sunday, 01 May 2005 12:00 AM

No president would dare violate the country's national interests because the people would not allow it, he said.

His vitriol came on the heels of Iran's statement on Saturday it might resume suspended enrichment-related activities next week - in defiance of an agreement that is at the heart of ongoing talks with Europe.

Previously, Iran proposed a phased resumption of its nuclear activities over concerns that the European negotiations were dragging on too long.

Despite the slap in the face to the Europeans, Khamenei reserved the bulk of his ire for the U.S., which has continued to express fears Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

Khamenei warned it was not up to the U.S. to decide which countries needed nuclear technology.

He also emphasized that Iran's forthcoming presidential elections were none of the business of the U.S.

Iran last year voluntarily halted enrichment - a process that can produce nuclear reactor fuel and, when taken to a higher level, material for bombs - to build confidence in negotiations with European powers and avoid referral to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

France, Britain and Germany, acting on behalf of the European Union, are seeking guarantees Iran will not use its nuclear program to make weapons, as Washington suspects. Iran has warned that these talks could collapse if they do not yield results soon.

The Europeans want Iran to permanently abandon enrichment. In return, they are offering Iran economic aid, technical support and backing for Tehran's efforts to join mainstream international organizations.

Washington last month agreed to support the EU effort but signaled that Iran - which Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last month labeled an "outpost of tyranny" - should quickly accept it or face harsh Security Council sanctions.

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No president would dare violate the country's national interests because the people would not allow it, he said. His vitriol came on the heels of Iran's statement on Saturday it might resume suspended enrichment-related activities next week - in defiance of an agreement...
Iran:,U.S.,Needs,'Punch,the,Mouth'
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2005-00-01
Sunday, 01 May 2005 12:00 AM
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