Ahmadinejad: Iran willing to talk about nuclear program
Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said on Tuesday that Tehran is "opposed to any proliferation" of nuclear weapons and is always ready to talk about its nuclear program.
In an interview in Tehran with U.S. television network ABC, Ahmadinejad said, "We are opposed to any proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons." On Sunday, Ahmadinejad celebrated the 28th anniversary of Iran's revolution and pledged to continue with the country's nuclear program.
The United States is sending a second aircraft carrier to the gulf to convey that they will not accept anything short of a full suspension of Iran's nuclear program. Tehran and Washington relations are tense, as the United States accuses Iran of supplying Shi'ite militants in Iraq with sophisticated weapons that have killed U.S. troops. Ahmadinejad denies the United States' accusation.
Tehran has a February 21st deadline to halt uranium enrichment, a process that can provide fuel for power stations, or material for warheads. If Tehran fails to meet the deadline, The United Nations may expand sanctions.
On Monday, European Union ministers said that Iran was showing "new ambition" to negotiate an end to the nuclear dispute. However, the EU diplomats have also agreed to implement U.N. sanctions in an effort to keep pressure on Tehran.
An internal European Union study, leaked to the press on Tuesday, concluded that international economic sanctions alone will not prevent Iran from acquiring the capacity to make enough high-grade uranium for a nuclear bomb.
According to the Washington Post, diplomats disputed the interpretation of the Financial Times, which first revealed the study, that it concluded it was too late to stop the program. One diplomat said, "What we don't like is the implication that sanctions are not going to work and that we are (therefore) contemplating military action."
EU diplomats noted that while Iran was geopolitically stronger given the US-led overthrow of foes ruling Afghanistan and Iraq, its economy was deteriorating and could prove vulnerable to sanctions.