From The Guardian:
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hardline President of Iran, launched an angry tirade against the West yesterday, accusing it of a ‘dark ages’ mentality and threatening retaliation unless it recognised his country’s nuclear ambitions.
In a blistering assault, Ahmadinejad repeated the Islamic regime’s position that it would press ahead with a nuclear programme despite threats by the European Union and United States to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, where it could face possible sanctions. He added that Iran was a ‘civilised nation’ that did not need such weapons. Iran insists its nuclear programme is a wholly peaceful attempt to generate electricity.
Addressing a rare press conference in Tehran, he appeared to issue thinly veiled threats against Western countries, implying that they could face serious consequences unless they backed down. ‘You need us more than we need you. All of you today need the Iranian nation,’ Ahmadinejad said. ‘Why are you putting on airs? You don’t have that might.’
Reminding the West that it had supported the monarchical regime of the former Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi – overthrown in the 1979 Islamic revolution – he went on: ‘Those same powers have done their utmost to oppress us, but this nation, because of its dignity, has forgiven them to a large extent. But if they persist with their present stance, maybe the day will come when the Iranian nation will reconsider.’ He added: ‘If they want to deny us our rights, we have ways to secure those rights.’
Ahmadinejad, an ultra-Islamist populist elected last June, did not elaborate on his apparent threat. But Iran is the world’s fourth-largest oil producer and analysts have predicted that any disruption to its supplies could have a grave impact on global markets.
The Iranian President’s outburst – the latest in a series asserting Iran’s nuclear rights and questioning Israel’s right to exist – came after the EU last week effectively abandoned two-and-a-half years of negotiations with the Iranians. The move came after Iran decided to remove UN seals at a nuclear plant in Natanz, enabling it to resume research into uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to produce a nuclear weapon…