Ahmadinejad: Iran justified in barring some nuclear inspectors

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told NBC News on Wednesday that his country was justified in barring some IAEA inspectors and called on other nations to fully disclose their nuclear activities.

He also rebuffed the threat of new sanctions: "Our nation does not need the United States whatsoever," he told NBC in Tehran. "Even if the U.S. administration increases the sanctions and — 100 times more, and even the Europeans join the United States to impose heavier sanctions, we in Iran are in a position to meet our own requirements."

Iran has already allowed the inspectors several visits and other western nuclear powers should allow the same kind of access to their facilities, Ahmadinejad said. "We have gone beyond the law, and we have cooperated with them," he said.

Ahmadinejad also said Muslims 'are not against Americans, Jews, Christians'

Iran has said two inspectors it banned in June had provided false information about its nuclear activities.

Ahmadinejad denied his nation was being uncooperative and said the International Atomic Energy Agency should instead focus its attention on Israel.

"They possess nuclear weapons, and they constantly threaten their neighbors," Ahmadinejad said. "And in the past year, they threatened Iran more than 10 times."

When asked about the apparent escalation of tensions between Muslims and Americans in recent weeks over desecration of Quran in the United States, Ahmadinejad said there was "no conflict between the two cultures."

Ahmadinejad on Wednesday blamed a small minority in the United States for fueling the rising anger between Muslims and Americans.

"Their interests lie in creating wars and conflicts," he said of that minority.

In response to questions from Mitchell on the ongoing Middle East peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Ahmadinejad discounted the meetings.

"Let them talk," he said. "But we think that this is not the solution to the Palestinian issue."

He said the Palestinian officials negotiating with Israel did not represent the Palestinian people.

Ahead of his travels next week to the UN General Assembly, Ahmadinejad reiterated Iran's stance that it supports only a peaceful nuclear program.

"We have repeatedly expressed our position, and also our position that Iran is against the development of a nuclear bomb," he said.

PA/PA

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MNA

News Code 41934

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