Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warns West not to miss last Iran nuclear 'opportunity'
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a possible Iran nuclear fuel swap is a one-time opportunity that could be squandered if the UN approves a fourth round of Iran sanctions this week.
(Page 2 of 2)
Ahmadinejad recently lashed out at his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, for challenging Iran. He reissued his warning Tuesday, saying that Moscow “must be careful not to be alongside the enemies of the Iranian nation.”Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Nuclear Weapons
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
IAEA calls Iran a 'special case'
Iran’s controversial nuclear program has for years been near the top of the agenda for the UN’s nuclear watchdog, as Tehran has sought to prove that the sole aim of its program is to peacefully produce nuclear power. The US and many European nations suspect Iran wants to build nuclear weapons.
On Monday, Yukiya Amano, the head of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), singled out Iran as a “special case” because Iran was a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) – unlike non-signatory Israel, which has been subject to increasing calls for it to sign the treaty and give up its own secret nuclear arsenal.
“Iran is a special case because, among other things, of the existence of issues related to possible military dimensions to its nuclear program,” Mr. Amano said during the opening of a week-long meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation Governing Board in Vienna.
Iran has officially notified the IAEA of the nuclear swap deal, and Amano said he is still waiting for a response from the US, among others, which must approve the deal before logistics of the exchange can be worked out.
Amano said there were “differences” between the Turkey-Brazil-Iran deal and a similar US-backed IAEA exchange offered last October, because Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium had since doubled in size. That's part of why the US has been reluctant to agree to the new deal, which will leave Iran with enough or close to enough uranium to make a nuclear weapon rather than buying some time for negotiating without fear of a bomb being developed.
Ahmadinejad decries 'unbalanced' global order
From Iran’s perspective, the swap deal was a first step to redress imbalances in the global security structure that favor a handful of powerful nations.
“The trilateral meeting between Iran, Turkey, and Brazil was beyond the settlement of a minor issue,” Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday, making clear that the summit had broad regional ramifications. “Apart from the implications and effects of the nuclear issue, I should say that was the beginning of a process, and a new way, the beginning of a change in the unbalanced international order.”
Ahmadinejad spoke out against the UNSC, calling it “undemocratic” and a tool for the five permanent members – the US, Britain, France, China, and Russia – to “rule the entire world.” He has frequently declared the failure and collapse of Western-style liberalism, democracy and economic order.
“In most decisions of the Security Council, most non-permanent members and some permament members say, ‘We are under the pressures of the United States,’” said Ahmadinejad.
“If the government of the United States and some of its allies think that, like 60 years ago, they can continue to intimidate and to exercise unilateralism, that period is over,” he added. “Insisting on an outdated system is in fact going to bring the death of this system more quickly.”
- As sanctions loom, is Iran sending peace signals to the US?
- Q&A: Will Iran nuclear sanctions work?
- All our Iran news coverage