Friday, 23 July 2010

Ahmadinejad warns Medvedev of joining 'U.S. plot' against Iran

Russia joined U.S., Western allies last month in imposing a fourth UN Security Council resolution and additional sanctions against Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday warned his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev of joining a "plot" by the United States against Iran, ISNA news agency reported.

"Our enemies have started a new propaganda war against Iran, which is written and directed by the U.S. and staged by the Russian president," Ahmadinejad said during the closing ceremony of a youth festival in Tehran.

"The two nations of Iran and Russia are friends and we hope that this friendship continues but the question is why the Russian president gets involved in this American play and jeopardizes his [country's] interests," Ahmadinejad said.

He was referring to Medvedev's meeting with ambassadors on July 12 in Moscow during which the Russian leader said Iran was moving closer to possessing a capability that could in principle be used to build nuclear weapons.

"The remarks by the Russian president in that meeting with ambassadors have no legal value," Ahmadinejad said.

Russia joined the U.S. and its Western allies last month in imposing a fourth UN Security Council resolution and additional sanctions against Iran after the Islamic state once again defied to stop its controversial nuclear enrichment programs.

Iran had expected that as a strategic political ally and trade partner, Moscow would have vetoed the UN resolution.

Ahmadinejad further said that in "the new plot," two Middle East countries, "which are Iran's friends," should be militarily attacked with the help of Israel.

He gave no further details but said that the aim of the plot was to weaken the will of the Iranian nation, adding that elements inside Iran were involved the plot, apparently a reference to the local opposition that accuse him of fraud in last year's presidential election.

"But all their efforts will fail as the Iranian nation will crash hundreds of such plots," Ahmadinejad said.

"The world powers think that the plot was top secret but its scenario is already in our hands and more details of this latest propaganda plot will be disclosed to the public in due time," he added.

In addition to the UN measures, the U.S. also imposed separate sanctions against Iran and the European Union plans to hit Iran with the "toughest ever" sanctions when its foreign ministers meet in Brussels on Monday.

Russia has traditionally been fewer alarmists about the state of Tehran's disputed nuclear ambitions than countries such the U.S., Israel and Britain.

Ahmadinejad made his first verbal attack against Medvedev last May, warning him not to side with the US in imposing new sanctions against Iran, which Moscow eventually did.

Iran has so far tolerated Moscow' political closeness to the Iran- policies by the U.S. in order not to jeopardize its strategic relations with Russia.

Another reason for Iran's concessions is the joint Bushehr nuclear power plant project in southern Iran whose completion Russia delayed numerous times for various reasons.

Iran believes that besides technical issues there are also political reasons behind the delays. But it had to tolerate them, mainly because it has no other potential nuclear partner.

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