Sunday, February 11, 2007

Iran: Nuclear Surprise Coming In April

From Little Green Footballs:

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) — Iran’s controversial president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday his country will make an announcement in April about new nuclear achievements.

Reports surfaced last fall that Tehran was trying to produce 3,000 centrifuges and expected to meet the goal by March of this year. The report was published by the Iranian Student News Agency and quoted a member of parliament. Last month, an official with Iran’s nuclear agency denied Iran was building 3,000 centrifuges. ...

The production of 3,000 centrifuges would allow Iran to begin industrial scale production of nuclear fuel — a move that has raised international concern that the country might ultimately produce nuclear weapons.

Ahmadinejad said Iran will not come to the negotiating table with Western nations if suspension of Tehran’s nuclear program is a precondition for talks.

“If you seek negotiation why do you insist on suspension? If we suspend, what do we want to talk about?” he asked, as a crowd dressed mostly in black — some holding signs reading “Down with America” — looked on. “How come your factories and reactors are working day and night while you’re asking our factories and centers to stop its facilities? Our nation will never accept such conditions.”

The president warned the Western nations that Tehran will not permit any of its “rights” to be taken away, by word or by action. “The world must know that if they try to deny that right to us they will be the most hated nation,” he said. Applause rippled through the crowd.