Ahmadinejad flexes military muscle as news of secret Gates Iran memo ripples
A secret memo from US Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned the White House in January that the US lacks a long-term plan to deal with Iran, according to reports. News of the Gates Iran memo is causing a stir in Washington.
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Memo raises concerns
The Times of London reports that Mr. Gates raised concerns about what the US would do if Iran obtained all the necessary components to build a nuclear weapon but did not actually put together a nuclear missile. In this case, Iran would become a “ ‘virtual’ nuclear weapons state” and keep its status as a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Iran, however, continues to insist that whatever the US strategy toward its nuclear program, it is only developing atomic technologies to generate electricity. Iran’s Press TV reports that the memo appeared while Washington officials wanted to create a broader base of support for new sanctions against Iran because of its refusal to terminate uranium enrichment programs.
Ahmadinejad's own nuclear summit
At his own nuclear summit about a week after Obama’s, Mr. Ahmadinejad called for future nuclear disarmament talks to be run by states that currently do not possess an atomic arsenal.
“The involvement of the government of America will prevent any new treaty from being fair,” said Ahmadinejad in an article reported by the Washington Post.
He also criticized Obama for a recent statement saying that US policy does not rule out the use of nuclear weapons against Iran and North Korea.
Iran was not invited to participate in Obama’s nuclear summit.
On Sunday, Ahmadinejad went a step further, vowing to respond with “all [Iran’s] military potential” in the face of armed aggression, reports Al Jazeera.
The remarks came on Iran’s Army Day when the nation showcases its military technology. The Iranian president also added that the US must withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, where he says the presence of US forces has only “increased insecurity in both countries.”