“Going off the rails on a Crazy Train” in Tehran. From AFP:
TEHERAN – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday defied Western threats to impose more sanctions over Iran’s contested nuclear programme, comparing its atomic drive to a “˜train with no brakes”.
Ahmadinejad’s declaration came a day before the UN Security Council’s five permanent members plus Germany are to meet to discuss more possible punitive measures against Teheran.
“˜Iran has reached the technology to produce nuclear fuel and Iran’s movement on this path is like a train on a one-way track with no room for stopping, reverse gear or braking,” the president told a gathering of religious leaders.
“˜A while ago, we threw away the reverse gear and the brakes of the train and we announced to them that this Iranian train has no reverse gear or braking,” the ISNA and Fars
news agencies quoted him as saying.
The UN Security Council in December imposed limited sanctions against Teheran over its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, a process that the West fears could be used to make nuclear weapons.
A report by the UN atomic watchdog has confirmed that Iran is still continuing with uranium enrichment work in defiance of the UN Security Council, opening the way towards possible further sanctions.
The United States has never ruled out the prospect of military action to halt Iran’s nuclear programme and Vice President Dick Cheney reignited such speculation by saying that “˜all options are still on the table.”
The United States and Israel accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons. Teheran denies the charges, insisting its atomic programme is peaceful in nature.
Hmm. A Nuclear Program of Peace?
“˜We have prepared ourselves for any situation, even if war happens,” Deputy Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mohammadi told the ISNA news agency
He added that Iran was prepared for talks with the United States but without preconditions. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has insisted she would only hold talks if Teheran first agreed to a suspension of enrichment.
“˜We have had unofficial meetings with Americans over Afghanistan and Iraq, but they say first Iran should accept US conditions and then the talks take place,” Mohammadi said.
Ahmadinejad shrugged off the impact of a resolution against Iran, saying such a move would neither hurt the Islamic republic economically and nor affect the progress of the nuclear programme.
“˜They think they can hurt us economically. Since they have threatened us and issued a resolution against us we have had record contracts. They cannot do anything,” Ahmadinejad said.
“˜Our revolution is going fast towards the summit like a bulldozer. The enemies think they can stop this bulldozer by throwing a few pebbles at it. They then magnify their small pebbles 500 times in psychological warfare”
In another move that could increase tensions, Iran said on Sunday it had successfully launched its first rocket into space in a possible first step to launching its own satellites.