President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday urged the West to “correct its manners” if it wants to win the respect of Iranians, as Tehran and the world powers meet in Baghdad this month to discuss Iran’s contested nuclear programme.
“If the West corrects its manners and respects the Iranian people, in return it will gain the respect of the Iranians,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in the northeastern city of Qoochan where he is on a provincial tour.
“They should know that the Iranian nation will not retreat a step over its fundamental right,” he said, reiterating the Islamic republic’s position over its nuclear drive which the West suspects is masking a weapons programme.
Iran vehemently denies the charge.
The Baghdad dialogue on May 23 comes after Iran and the world powers resumed negotiations over Tehran’s atomic programme in Istanbul in April after more than a year of hiatus.
Several Iranian officials have aired remarks similar to what Ahmadinejad said as the dialogue between Tehran and the world powers nears.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Monday said that Tehran will “welcome” a Baghdad meeting which is not influenced by “pressure and preconditions.”
“If 5+1 intends to cooperate in a positive atmosphere in the talks, we will welcome such negotiations. Fortunately there was a positive atmosphere in Istanbul which formed a basis for talks founded on Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This is a good framework,” Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.
“According to NPT we have some obligations and some rights that we should enjoy. But we have to wait until the Baghdad talks for the details of the agreement,” he added.
The Iranian media also reported late Sunday that Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, had told visiting former French prime minister Michel Rocard that “any kind of wrong calculations by the West will not yield success in the talks.”
“In Baghdad we are awaiting actions to secure the Iranian people’s trust,” Jalili was quoted as saying.