Iran 'doesn't need nuclear weapons': president
LONDON, Sept 12 (AFP) Sep 12, 2007
Iran is not looking to develop nuclear weapons, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Britain's Channel 4 News Wednesday amid continued global concern at its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
In a live interview from the grounds of the presidential palace in Tehran, Ahmadinejad told the broadcaster through a translator: "We don't want a bomb. We are against bombs, actually...
"From a political point of view, it's not useful... Why do we want a bomb?... What's the use of it? We don't need it."
In a chaotic interview, in which Ahmadinejad, the presenter and translator often all spoke at the same time, the Iranian president said there was no reason for the Islamic republic to stop enriching uranium.
He was speaking after his chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, warned that a third set of UN sanctions on Iran could put in danger its current co-operation with international inspectors.
Ahmadinejad earlier told state television in Iran that they will not step down under pressure.
Iran maintains its uranium enrichment programme is for peaceful, civilian purposes but the United States and some other Western countries believe it is designed to develop nuclear weapons.
Elsewhere in the interview, Ahmadinejad hedged on questions about whether Iran was directly supporting insurgents in neighbouring Iraq, as suspected by both Britain and the United States.
In another interview, he dismissed suggestions that the United States may be preparing a military attack on Iran, telling broadcaster ITV News that the "Americans want to do a lot of things, but they are not able to."
Ahmadinejad also maintained his tough line against Israel, although with language more measured than his 2005 comment that he wanted to see the Jewish state "wiped off the map", and was unrepentant over his questioning of the Holocaust.
But he expressed his condolences for British military personnel killed in Iraq.
"We are sorry for your soldiers who have been killed," he told Channel 4.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.