TEHRAN, (AFP) — Imposing sanctions on Iran has been the “most ridiculous and failed” move adopted by the world powers, the country’s hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday.
“Imposing sanctions on Iran was the most ridiculous political decision ever. It was a failed thing from the beginning,” Ahmadinejad said in an interview broadcast live on state television.
Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly dismissed UN and other unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear programme, reiterated that the punitive measures were like “torn paper” which failed to hurt Iranians.
“What do you want to sanction? Energy. We are energy producers. We have the second largest reserves of energy products in the world,” he said.
The United Nations and world powers have imposed sanctions on Iran for refusing to suspend its controversial nuclear programme which has ploughed ahead under the presidency of Ahmadinejad.
The six major world powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – have proposed to hold talks with Iran on the issue from November 15.
The talks between the two sides have been deadlocked for more than year, with the last round held in Geneva.
Ahmadinejad reiterated the talks must be held on “the basis of justice and respect” but said the tone of negotiations would depend on what answers the world powers give to Iran’s set of questions.
“We will negotiate with enemies in one way and with friends in another way,” he said, indicating that the response to Iran would colour Tehran’s tone during the discussions.
Ahmadinejad and several other top Iranian officials have insisted the world powers, among other issues, must explain during the talks the aim of holding the negotiations and reveal the status of Israel’s nuclear arsenal.
Iran has always insisted the talks be held on the basis of its own proposals and foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast this week said there must be agreement on an agenda.
Israel, which has not ruled out a military strike against arch-foe Iran to stop its nuclear programme, is believed to be the sole if undeclared nuclear power in the Middle East.