Shamim Adam and Soraya Permatasari
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the possibility of a war with the U.S. and Israel over his country’s nuclear work, saying Iran is trying to avoid conflict.
“We’re making the utmost effort for providing peace and security at the world level,” the Iranian president told reporters today in Kuala Lumpur, where he is attending a summit of the Eight Islamic Developing Countries. “Don’t worry, there won’t be any war in the future. Mainly they are focusing on some sort of propaganda or psychological war.”
Tensions over Iran increased, helping push the price of oil to a record, after a June 20 New York Times report that Israeli military maneuvers last month were in preparation for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran would strike Israel and the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf as a first response to any American attack on its nuclear program, an aide to Supreme Leader Ayataollah Ali Khamenei said today.
(Article continues below)
Iran has the right to develop a nuclear program, Ahmadinejad said, while declining to specify whether his government will suspend uranium enrichment as required in a package of incentives from the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members, plus Germany. He said he was ready for dialogue with the world powers, while repeating his condemnation of Israel, labeling it an “illegitimate regime.”
The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of using its atomic program as cover for the development of nuclear weapons. Iran, which is under three sets of UN sanctions for refusing to halt uranium enrichment, denies the allegation and says the work is aimed at generating electricity. Enriched uranium can fuel a nuclear reactor or arm a weapon.