President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday urged the West to “correct its manners” if it wants to “win the respect of Iranians” ahead of nuclear talks in Baghdad later this month.
“If the West corrects its manners and respects the Iranian people, in return it will gain the respect of the Iranians,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.
“They should know that the Iranian nation will not retreat a step over its fundamental right,” he said, reiterating that the Islamic Republic would continue its nuclear drive.
Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Monday joined Ahmadinejad and called on world powers to “avoid a policy of pressure in the upcoming Baghdad nuclear talks.”
Mehmanparast cautioned the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – that the policy of pressure against Iran will not yield their desirable results in the next round of talks.
The last round of nuclear talks held in Istanbul in April, resulted in platitudes from all sides but no results other than an agreement to meet again in the Iraqi capital on May 23.
“If the P5+1 enter the talks with the goal of cooperation in a positive atmosphere, we (Iran) will welcome it, too,” the spokesman told Mehmanparast.
Their remarks came as Iranian officials in Vienna met with senior officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency to discuss Tehran’s continued refusal to allow UN inspectors access to its nuclear sites.
Iran, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, is obligated to allow the UN watchdog access to its site for inspections to ensure it is complying with the treaty.
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said recently that access to the suspected Parchin nuclear was a “priority” and said in March that “activities” spotted by satellite there “makes us believe that going there sooner is better than later.”
In March, Amano charged Iran with a systemic attempt to cover up nuclear activity of a military nature saying, “Iran is not telling us everything.”
His remarks came after two IAEA reports citing “credible foreign intelligence” that charged Iran had engaged in nuclear activities that only had military applications.
One specific charge included high-explosives tests conducted in a special chamber in Parchin, which IAEA inspectors believe were aimed at developing a working detonator for a nuclear core.
Western nations have accused Iran of removing evidence from Parchin and other sites, a charge Iran has dismissed as “a childish (and) ridiculous story made out of nothing.”
Ahmadinejad’s lecture on manners is unlikely to impress Western leaders who have levied numerous rounds of sanctions on Tehran over its refusal to honor its NPT commitments, and who believe Iran is seeking an atom bomb.
Israeli officials charge the talks are a waste of time saying Iran is using them to buy more time for its bid for nuclear weapons, which Jerusalem has said is unacceptable.
Analysts believe the likelihood of an Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in the coming months will dramatically increase should the Baghdad talks fail.