Tehran: Iranian President MahmoudAhmadinejad said on Sunday that the West should drop its "bullying" stance against his country and insisted that
sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme were having no
more than a "psychological" effect.
"As God is my witness, the Iranian nation will not give a
damn for (your) bombs, warships and planes," he said in a
televised speech in the city of Karaj west of Tehran.
"They say all (options) are on the table. Well, let them
rot there. You yourself will rot," he railed, in
characteristically fiery language.
Ahmadinejad said the United States and its EU allies
"should talk politely, and recognise the rights of (other)
nations, and cooperate instead of showing teeth, and weapons
His words came as Iran and major world powers -- the five
UN Security Council permanent members and Germany -- are
poised to revive stalled talks amid high tensions over
Tehran's nuclear activities.
The United States in particular has repeated that "all
options are on the table" when it comes to Iran, raising the
spectre of military strikes against Iranian nuclear
US President Barack Obama, though, has cautioned against
"bluster" in talking about possible war with Iran, saying
there still exists a window of diplomacy.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, welcomed
Obama's "good talk" but called US determination to press on
with sanctions an "illusion".
Mohammad Nahavandian, the head of Iran's chamber of
commerce, said in a statement today that the opportunity of
the new talks with the world powers "should be seized, and we
should try to pay serious attention to removing all
The United States and other Western governments suspect
Iran is working towards a nuclear weapon capability, although
US intelligence services say Tehran has made no decision yet
on whether to produce an actual bomb.
Iran, for its part, denies it is even researching nuclear
It has twice refused, though, requests by the UN nuclear
watchdog to inspect a suspect military site for signs of
alleged experiments with explosives of the sort that could be
used to trigger an atomic blast.
The United States and the European Union have in the past
four months greatly ramped up economic sanctions on Iran in a
bid to force it to suspend uranium enrichment, the most
sensitive part of its nuclear programme.
Ahmadinejad said: "They should know they will never
prevail. There are no acute problems in the country and its
economic pillars are strong. It is a psychological war."
His government, he vowed, "will overcome all the
The Iranian President also dismissed Israel, which has
been leading the bellicose rhetoric, as "a dead entity".
"Do not think that just because idiot leaders of regional
countries support you, you will cement your basis in the
region," he said.
Ahmadinejad also lashed out at Arab governments backing
the Western pressure against his country -- implicitly
including Saudi Arabia, which is pumping extra oil to make up
for curbed Iranian exports.
"The (Arab leaders) have no support among their people.
If they give only one day of freedom to their nation, their
people in the one day will topple them all," he said.
First Published: Sunday, March 11, 2012, 20:49