Ahmadinejad: U.N. Sanctions Resolutions 'Worthless Papers'
TEHRAN, Iran – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday dismissed U.N. Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions on Iran as "worthless papers" and vowed his country won't give up its right to enrich uranium and produce nuclear fuel.
Ahmadinejad's comments came as Iran's new top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, accompanied by his predecessor, Ali Larijani, met for a second day with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, in Rome over Tehran's nuclear program, which the United States and its allies warn aims to produce a weapon. Iran denies the claim.
Two rounds of U.N. sanctions have failed to persuade Iran to halt enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel to generate electricity or materials for a nuclear warhead.
"The so-called dossier at the Security Council is a pile of papers that have no value. They can add to those worthless papers everyday because it has no effect on the will of the Iranian nation," state television quoted Ahmadinejad as saying Wednesday.
Ahmadinejad said Iran's nuclear dossier has returned to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and that Iran won't accept any limitations on its nuclear program outside the IAEA rules.
"If it is said that a group (of countries) want to determine the level of your rights outside the IAEA, we will never accept it and that it will be illegal. ... We don't want one iota more than our rights and we won't give up our rights," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.
Iran says it will never give up its right under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to enrich uranium and produce nuclear fuel.
Ahmadinejad said Iran will continue to cooperate with the IAEA but won't negotiate its nuclear rights: the right to enrich uranium.
"We are for talks, but we won't negotiate over our rights because it means giving up part of the rights of the nation," he said.
Ahmadinejad said his government's decision to resume uranium enrichment for the first time last year advanced Iran's nuclear program and forced the world to recognize Iran as a country possessing nuclear technology.
"At one time, they were talking about having 20 centrifuges. Now, they want to stop at 3,000 centrifuges," he said.
Iran says it is now operating 3,000 centrifuges at its Natanz uranium enrichment plant and plans to expand it up to 54,000 centrifuges, the level of a full scale enrichment program.
Ahmadinejad dismissed the threat of more sanctions against Iran, saying sanctions only make Iran more self-reliant.
"Sanctions have no affect on us. It has only made us more powerful," the television quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.