Ahmadinejad: Sanctions hurt chances for negotiations
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that a decision to impose further sanctions on his country hurts chances for negotiations on Iran's nuclear program with the six major powers, Iranian TV reported.
Addressing the US and Western states, Ahmadinejad said: "You impose sanctions on us, use many means against us and expect us to be ready to discuss the nuclear program with you?", Ynet quoted AFP as reporting.
Six international mediators, including Russia, China, the U.S., France, the UK and Germany want Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment, which can pose a threat to the nuclear nonproliferation regime.
The negotiations were interrupted in 2009 when the Board of Governors of the IAEA condemned Iran for building a second plant to enrich uranium and called on Tehran to confirm that "no decisions were made on the construction of other nuclear facilities, which are not declared to the Agency."
The U.S. and other Western countries accuse Iran of developing nuclear weapons under cover of peaceful nuclear energy program. Tehran denies the accusations, saying that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has the right to acquire and develop atomic technology for peaceful purposes.
Iran's refusal to abandon its nuclear activities has resulted in resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council in 2010, as well as additional unilateral sanctions approved by the U.S. Congress and the foreign ministers of all EU countries, which were primarily directed against the banking, financial and energy sectors of Iran.