Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Never gives Up - Ahmadinejad: 'The Zionist regime is a threat to all nations'

(AP , JPOST)."The Zionist regime is a threat to all nations ... it cannot tolerate the existence of any strong country in the region," said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday, according to Teheran news agency Press TV.

Ahmadinejad spoke after welcoming Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who arrived in Teheran Tuesday for a two-day visit.

Iran's president praised Erdogan's stance over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the Turkish leader's "clear stance toward the Zionist regime has had a positive impact on the world of Islam."

Ahmadinejad lashed out at Israel, which is believed to have nuclear weapons, saying that when an "illegal regime has atomic weapons, it's impossible to block others" from having peaceful nuclear energy.

The Iranian leader was echoing statements voiced by Erdogan in the Guardian on Monday, accusing the five permanent Security Council members of hypocrisy. While these countries put pressure on Iran, which does not have "a weapon," he said, they themselves keep nuclear arsenals for military purposes.

During the Guardian interview, Erdogan also referred to reports saying Israel or other Western countries were planning to carry out what he termed a "crazy" attack against Iran in lieu of sanctions or negotiations.

"On the one hand you say you want global peace, on the other hand you are going to have such a destructive approach to a state which has 10,000 years of history. It is not correct," he was quoted as saying, adding that Ankara was firm in its belief that Teheran's nuclear program was peaceful.

Ahmadinejad reportedly suggested that if Turkey and Iran "reinforce their unity, they will overcome serious threats and make use of opportunities in favor of their own nations."

In related news, Ahmadinejad announced on Tuesday that his country would persist with its nuclear program, despite international concerns.

His remarks were the first since a UN-backed draft was put forth aimed at easing tensions with the West.

Iranian State TV reported later on Tuesday that Teheran opposes shipping its full stockpile of low-enriched uranium at once, and seeks changes to the UN plan.