Ahmadinejad Insists on Right to Nuclear Research
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday painted the United States and other Western nations as bullies with "a medieval view of the world" and insisted his nation has the right to conduct nuclear research.
"A few Western states ... have nuclear arsenals, they have chemical weapons. They have microbiological weapons. And every year they establish tens of new nuclear power plants. Now they are criticizing the Iranian nation ... because they think that they are powerful," Ahmadinejad said, apparently referring to the United States and the EU3 -- Britain, France and Germany. READ MORE
Talks between the EU3 and Iran stalled last year, and Iran on Tuesday resumed research at its Natanz uranium enrichment plant -- an act viewed with suspicion by the United States and EU3, which fear the country may be planning to produce a nuclear weapon.
"Our nation does not need a nuclear weapon," Ahmadinejad said. "We are a civilized and cultured nation. We have logic, we have civilization ... Nuclear weapons are only needed for people who want to solve everything through use of force." (Watch more of his speech -- 2:23)
Ahmadinejad maintained Iran has done nothing wrong, saying that the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty both allow development of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions will not end Iran's nuclear plans, Ahmadinejad said.
Ahmadinejad's comments came a day after President Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Washington and jointly appealed to nations around the world to condemn Iran's nuclear activities. (Full story)
"We won't be intimidated ... You don't even want us to do some research," said Ahmadinejad. "That's not fair. Even if you bring in the international community, we're still not going to listen to you the way you want. You are just tricking us, and this is not fair. You're not going to stop our research."
He accused the Western nations of using the threat of referral to the U.N. Security Council as a "stick" to threaten Iran. "Every day, they bring in a stick and tell us either we have to listen to them and do what they want or be referred to the Security Council ... You are using it as a stick, you are threatening us with it."
Without naming the United States, Ahmadinejad referred to countries imposing an "artificial peace" on other nations, a peace he said would not last -- an apparent swipe at the U.S.-led war in Iraq. He said Iran had good relations with most countries, except for a few Western nations. "They don't really want good relations with us," he said.
Those nations, he said, also are among the world's most hated. Their leaders "can't even walk around without bodyguards," he said. "The election is always full of cheating. The turnout is very, very low."
He also questioned whether the Holocaust occurred and said Palestinians should be allowed to decide their own fate instead of being subject to Israel.