Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday rejected a Western proposal for it to “freeze” its nuclear work in return for no new sanctions and ruled out any talks with major powers on the issue.
The comments by the conservative president, who is seeking a second term in a June 12 election, are likely to further disappoint the U.S. administration of President Barack Obama, which is seeking to engage Iran diplomatically.
The United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain said in April they would invite Iran to a meeting to try and find a diplomatic solution to the nuclear row.
The West accuses Iran of secretly developing atomic weapons. Iran, the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter, denies the charge and says it only wants nuclear power to generate electricity.
Breaking with past U.S. policy of shunning direct talks with Iran, Obama’s administration last month said it would join nuclear discussions with Tehran from now on.
Ahmadinejad proposed a debate with Obama at the United Nations in New York “regarding the roots of world problems” but he made clear Tehran would not bow to pressure on the nuclear issue.
A debate?!? Considering all Obama does is sit quietly through diatribes by Middle Eastern and Central and South American miscreants, it’s not likely to be much of a debate. Mr. Smooth Talker can’t carry a conversation without a teleprompter, and unless his audience is packed with MSM fans and constituents, forget about cooperation.