//Iran denounces nuclear "bullying"

Iran denounces nuclear "bullying"

Atul Aneja, The Hindu, 2 Feb 2006,

DUBAI: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed that his country would not buckle under western pressure and would continue its defiance till it acquired peaceful nuclear technology.

"Nuclear energy is our right, and we will resist until this right is fully realised," Mr. Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday addressing a gathering at Bushehr, where Iran’s only nuclear power plant is located.

"Our nation can’t give in to the coercion of some bully countries who imagine they are the whole world and see themselves equal to the entire globe." He described the U.S. as "hollow superpower" that is "tainted with the blood of nations."

Blistering attack

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s comments came a day before the 35-member Board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is to meet in Vienna. It is likely that IAEA would report Iran’s nuclear programme to the U.N. Security Council — a move that would open the door for possible sanctions on Iran. In Vienna, European countries were circulating a draft among IAEA Board members, recommending Iran’s referral to the Security Council, along with a wish list of steps that Teheran should take to demonstrate the peaceful nature of its atomic programme.

The blistering attack came within hours of U.S. President George Bush’s state of the union address, where he spoke about Iran’s poor human rights record.

Mr. Ahmedinejad said, "You who support the Zionist puppet regime, you who support the destruction of Palestinian homes, you have no right to talk about liberty or human rights." Addressing Mr. Bush directly, he said, "God willing, in the near future we will judge you in a people’s tribunal."

The West, he observed, was "living in a colonial dream."

Responding to the agreement among the five permanent members of the Security Council on Monday that recommended Iran’s referral to the Security Council, he said "Those who possess stocks of nuclear arms meet together and take decisions and think that the Iranian people will submit to their decisions. I tell these countries who want to violate the rights of the Iranian people that the Iranian people will not be influenced by their propaganda."

The President vowed to build "nuclear power stations everywhere in the country with a capacity of 20,000 megawatts."

Head of Iran’s national security council Ali Larijani indicated that Iran would take calibrated steps in case it was referred to the Security Council.

He said Iran would end short notice inspections by the IAEA that are held under the Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that it had signed.