Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday invited representatives from a group of six world powers, including the United States, to Tehran, but he said negotiations over his country’s right to a nuclear program would be off the table.
Discussion on the nuclear issue, he told reporters at a news conference, is “finished.”
“We will never negotiate on the Iranian nation’s obvious rights,” he said, adding that Iran would not halt its uranium enrichment efforts. Ahmadinejad said Iran had prepared a proposal for breaking the deadlock on its nuclear program, and he asked diplomats to come to Tehran to pick it up. [continued…]
Three months after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad derided his opponents as “dirt and dust,” sending hundreds of thousands of angry protesters into the streets, he risked enraging them again Monday by likening them to “pollutants” staining “the gown of the revolution.”
The comment, during prepared remarks at a news conference, drew an immediate rebuke from a conservative clerical association in the holy city of Qom, which urged the president and his staff to “concentrate their minds seriously on economic woes and social challenges and avoid uttering unnecessary and provocative remarks.”
But along with Ahmadinejad’s defiant and boastful tone on the sensitive nuclear issue, Monday’s statement also suggested that three months of the worst domestic unrest in the Islamic Republic’s history had not caused the president to change his ways. [continued…]
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to listen to “benevolent criticism” as the hardliner began another term in office amid opposition claims his re-election was fraudulent.
“There is internal criticism backed by foreign media with the aim of sabotage but there is also benevolent criticism which may not come from supporters of the government but they contain good comments,” Khamenei said in a meeting with Ahmadinejad and his cabinet, state television reported.
He called on the government to have its “ears open to criticism.”
Also on Monday a leading Iranian conservative clerical group told Ahmadinejad to avoid “provocative” comments, in a first such message to the hardliner whose disputed re-election has bitterly divided the political elite. [continued…]