Published January 18, 2006
TEHRAN, Iran – The United States and France rejected Iran's request Wednesday for more negotiations on the Islamic republic's nuclear program. As European countries pushed ahead with efforts to have Iran brought before the U.N. Security Council for its nuclear activities, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused them of trying to deprive Iran of peaceful technology.
"We are asking they step down from their ivory towers and act with a little logic," Ahmadinejad said. "Who are you to deprive us from fulfilling our goals?
"You think you are the lord of the world and everybody should follow you. But that idea is a wrong idea."
Earlier, Iran's foreign minister said he did not believe the country would be referred to the Security Council, which has the power to impose economic and political sanctions. However, diplomats say the council is unlikely to take those actions since China and Russia, two veto-wielding members, oppose referral.
Tehran's defiant tone came as the United States and France rejected Iran's request for a resumption of negotiations, saying Tehran must first suspend its atomic activities.
Iran asked for a ministerial-level meeting with France, Germany, Britain and the European Union, but its decision to resume some uranium enrichment-related activities "means that it is not possible for us to meet under satisfactory conditions to pursue these discussions," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Denis Simonneau said in Paris.
"Iran must return to a complete suspension of these activities."