Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Iran president says he would welcome a travel ban

Iran's president on Tuesday struck a defiant tone on the threat of political sanctions against Teheran, quipping that a lack of "wise politicians" in the West makes travel there unattractive.

Iran has been reported to the UN Security Council for failing to convince the international community that its atomic scientists are working exclusively on power stations rather than branching into nuclear warheads.

Diplomats have said Iran is more likely to face political sanctions, such as travel bans on politicians, rather than economic embargoes.

But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a crowd in the northeastern city of Gorgan that he would welcome not having to travel abroad and meet Western leaders.

"They say "We will not let Ahmadinejad travel to some Western countries if the Iranian people do not stop their path of seeking peaceful nuclear technology,"" he said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

"But I tell them I do not even want to set eyes on their faces," he added. READ MORE

"I used to believe there could be wise politicians in the West. But in the few months that I have been meeting them face-to-face, unfortunately I have seen the only things you would struggle to find in the West are wise politicians."