BAKU (Reuters) – World powers should stop threatening Iran if they want to achieve results at talks on Tehran’s nuclear program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday.
Speaking at a news conference on a visit to Azerbaijan, he gave no indication whether talks tentatively scheduled for next month between Iran and six world powers — Russia, the United States, Britain, France, China and Germany — would go ahead.
“If they want to achieve positive results they should stop thinking as aggressors. There are those among them who think as aggressors, and they think they can achieve positive results by putting pressure on us and threatening us,” he said.
“They should change the old methods, otherwise the results will be the same. No embargoes can change the Iranian people.”
Both sides have expressed a readiness to meet for talks on December 5 but have not agreed on a venue. Ahmadinejad said Iran had offered to hold the meeting in Istanbul, and the six powers had suggested Geneva.
The West suspects Iran of seeking nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian research program. Tehran says its long concealed enrichment drive is aimed only at generating electricity.
If talks are agreed, it would be the first time in more than a year that Iran has met to discuss its nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad is due to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday at a meeting of Caspian Sea states in the Azeri capital.
A senior Russian official said on Wednesday Medvedev would urge Iran to resume nuclear talks.
Ahmadinejad has said Iran will not negotiate over its rights to develop nuclear technology, but has not entirely closed the door to discussion of the uranium enrichment program.
Pressure on Tehran to return to negotiations has grown since the United Nations, the United States and the European Union began imposing tighter sanctions on Iran in June.
Of the sanctions, Ahmadinejad said: “Iran is a rich country, and even in the last six months, while the embargo was in place, our economy grew.” He compared the West’s actions to those of a “mosquito.”