Iranian President Threatens Bush
Khaleej Times Online:
Iran’s official news agency reported on Wednesday what appeared to be a veiled threat from hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to US President George W. Bush.
The official Islamic Republic News Agency said Ahmadinejad had warned in a speech that anyone who refused to accept an invitation would suffer a bad fate. It said the statement was a reference to Bush’s rejection of an invitation by Ahmadinejad for a televised debate.
The official news agency did not provide any exact quote from Ahmadinejad containing those words, but reported that he said them. It quoted Ahmadinejad directly as saying: “This is not a threat by me. This is a threat by the entire universe. The universal trend is against suppression.”
The remark, made during a religious conference held Wednesday in Tehran, came a day after Bush said a nuclear-armed Iran would raise a mortal threat to the American people and would blackmail the free world. READ MORE
“I am not going to allow this to happen,” Bush said in a speech on terrorism. “And no future American president can allow it, either.”
Last week, Ahmadinejad challenged Bush to a live debate on “world issues and the ways of solving the problems of the international community.” But the White House dismissed the proposal as a distraction.
“We proposed the debate to say that the period of bullying has expired, but false advocators of democracy avoided it because of their arrogance and lack of logic,” Ahmadinejad also said Wednesday, according to the news agency.
Iran faces the threat of sanctions after refusing a demand from the UN Security Council to halt uranium enrichment before it enters talks with six world powers over a package of incentives.
Tehran insists that its nuclear activities are designed to produce civilian power and are within its rights. But Western nations fear it is seeking nuclear weapons.
Russia and China, which are both veto-wielding members of the Security Council and have key trade ties with Tehran, have urged patience with Iran. European nations remain hesitant to call a halt to three years of talks, with Britain the firmest backer of the US drive for punitive measures.