Ahmadinejad says U.S. remains Iran's enemy

Iran Materials 12 November 2007 16:53 (UTC +04:00)

( RIA Novosti ) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that the resumption of talks with Washington on security issues in Iraq did not reflect any changes in Tehran's attitude toward the U.S.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini earlier said that Tehran was ready to continue talks with the U.S. on Iraq security after the successful completion of negotiations last summer.

"The talks with the Americans are related to security in Iraq and are being held at the request of the Iraqi people and government," Ahmadinejad said, addressing a group of students at the Science and Industry University in Tehran.

"Our position toward the United States remains unchanged, however, -- the U.S. is conducting a vengeful and hostile policy against the interests of the Iranian people," he said.

The first round of official negotiations between Tehran and Washington took place in Baghdad in late May, and were the first direct talks between the two countries for 27 years. The main issues discussed were the situation in Iraq and the release of Iranian diplomats seized by the U.S. in January in Iraq on suspicion of aiding Iraqi militants.

The second round was held in July, also in Baghdad, and the three sides agreed to set up a trilateral committee on Iraqi security.

Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said at the time that Tehran might consider consultations between the countries deputy foreign ministers "if the United States files an official request".

However, Iran remains the subject of international concern over its controversial nuclear program. The U.S. and Europe suspect Iran of pursuing a clandestine weapons program. Tehran says it needs the program for energy.

Two sets of UN Security Council sanctions are currently in place against Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment that could be used in both electricity generation and weapons production. A further round of more stringent sanctions has been blocked by China and Russia so far.

Ahmadinejad, who has recently faced growing domestic criticism over his no compromise attitude, largely seen as to blame for subsequent U.N. Security Council sanctions, called on Monday his critics "traitors," and pledged to expose them if they continued to apply pressure over Tehran's nuclear enrichment.

"We are not exposing them right now because of some sensitive issues, but upon closure of the nuclear issue, we will reveal everything," Ahmadinejad said.

"These people are traitors," he said without specifying any names.