And in his latest vitriolic attack against Israel, the firebrand leader said the “fake” Jewish state “cannot survive” and called on migrants to quit the country and go back to where they came from.
In a show of defiance just days from Friday’s deadline set by the UN Security Council for Iran to freeze uranium enrichment, President Ahmadinejad confidently dismissed any threat of sanctions or even a US military attack.
“They shouldn’t think they can baptise a wrong decision with the help of the Security Council,” he said of demands that Iran stop enrichment, amid fears that the Islamic regime could acquire nuclear weapons.
“The Security Council should act within the framework of the law. It’s not true that whatever they issue we follow.”
Iran says it only wants to enrich uranium to make reactor fuel to generate electricity, as is authorised by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the cornerstone of efforts to avert the spread of nuclear weapons.
But the Security Council wants a suspension of the work, which can be extended to make weapons, pending the completion of a now three-year-old and still inconclusive probe by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency .
“Our policy is to work within the NPT and the Agency,” President Ahmadinejad told a news conference. “But if we see that they don’t want to accept our rights, we will reconsider.”
The regime’s increasingly defiant stance leaves it exposed to the risk of UN sanctions. The United States has also not ruled out the possibility of taking military action against the oil-rich Islamic republic.
“I see it as unlikely that they would be so unwise to do such a thing,” President Ahmadinejad replied confidently when asked about the impact on Iran’s economy if sanctions were imposed.
“Those two or three countries who are so against us have enough sense not to make that mistake. They cannot create limitations for us. They will lose themselves. Our economic infrastructure is strong,” he asserted.
He also played down US talk of a military attack.
“A military attack does not make sense. Besides, our people are powerful and can defend themselves,” he argued, before firing off a stiff warning to Washington.
“If they even talk about it, their situation will be very bad … This is all psychological pressure and propaganda that they use in the form of words in the media to try to make us back down.”
Iran’s defence minister also warned the United States that it risked a “disgraceful defeat”.