Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

'Gulf countries need proof and guarantees'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The deadly French-English border'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#CecilTheLion : Hunter Becomes The Hunted

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Erdogan’s gamble: Turkey launches offensives on PKK and Islamic State Group (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Europe’s shame: Calais migrant crisis deepens (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The River Seine, the lifeblood of the French capital

Read more

FOCUS

Remote learning brings hope to Brazil’s rural poor

Read more

ENCORE!

'The Little Prince', from the book to the screen

Read more

Iran defiant before nuclear deadline

Latest update : 2008-08-02

Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the country would "stand against" its enemies "with its power". Israeli Deputy PM Shaul Mofaz warned that Iran's nuclear capability is headed for a "breakthrough."

 

TEHRAN - Iran's president said on Friday the Islamic Republic would "stand against" its enemies with its "power", speaking just before a deadline set by Western officials in a dispute over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

 

Western powers gave Iran two weeks from July 19 to respond to their offer to hold off on imposing more U.N. sanctions on Iran if Tehran would freeze any expansion of its nuclear work.

 

That would suggest a deadline of Saturday, although Russia, one of the six powers facing Iran, has opposed a deadline and Iran dismissed the idea of having two-weeks to reply.

 

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the nuclear issue was just an excuse for the country's foes.

 

"The main reason for their enmity with this nation in the past 30 years is that they want to force the Iranian nation to retreat," the state broadcaster quoted him as saying, without mentioning any country by name.

 

"Whenever the enemies have failed against this nation they have tried to make excuses, but the Iranian nation will stand against them with its power," Ahmadinejad said, without elaborating.

 

Ahmadinejad's remarks drew a speedy reaction from the White House.

 

"Comments like those aren't productive. He should instead be focused on the generous incentives package we've offered," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in Kennebunkport, Maine.

 

The West accuses Iran of seeking to build nuclear warheads under cover of a civilian power programme. Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, denies the charge.

 

The freeze idea is aimed at getting preliminary talks started, although formal negotiations on an incentives package proposed by six world powers will not start before Iran suspends uranium enrichment, which has both civilian and military uses.

 

Iran has rejected suspension in the past and has given no indication so far that it is ready for a freeze.

Date created : 2008-08-02

COMMENT(S)