Tehran: Iran`s leaders have lashed out at the West, accusing it of "enmity" and "bullying" policies toward their nation after recent nuclear talks with world powers in Moscow ended without progress, according to Iranian media reports on Thursday.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke to UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of "Rio+20," a UN conference on sustainable development in Brazil, calling for the world powers to "return to the legal framework" in talks with Tehran about Iran`s controversial nuclear programme.
"Arrogant and domination-seeking parties should avoid enmity toward the Iranian nation," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by Iranian state TV. Ahmadinejad defended Iran, saying it had offered "legal, constructive, fair and friendly proposals," during the Moscow talks.
Two days of intensive nuclear talks in Moscow between Tehran and six world powers ended Tuesday, with both sides agreeing only to continue low-level talks in early July. The six the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany want Iran to stop enriching uranium to a level that is just steps away from its use as the core of nuclear warheads.
Iran says it does not seek atomic weapons and that it is enriching uranium only to make reactor fuel or medical isotopes, insisting it has a right to enrich under international law.
With neither side ready to accept what the other brought to the table in the form of inducements to compromise, the talks ended with no headway. The lack of progress in Moscow is sure to be seen by critics as a sign that talks are ineffective in persuading Iran to curb enrichment.
In Tehran, influential cleric and former president associated with a centrist branch of the clerical establishment, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, said world powers showed "bullying" policies and "dishonesty" in Moscow.
"The talks proved that the Western side is (not interested) in interaction and they are not honest. They have based their policy on bullying alone," Rafsanjani was quoted by several Iranian dailies as telling a group of clerics. He also urged Iranian unity to thwart its enemies.
Rafsanjani heads an advisory body to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran`s Supreme Leader, who has final say on all state matters.
Along with recognition of the right to enrich, Iran seeks relief from growing UN and other sanctions, including spreading international embargoes on its oil sales. That is something the six are ready to grant only if Tehran agrees to enrichment suspension and related measures.