Friday, August 12, 2005

Iran ex-president warns IAEA resolution will 'cost' the West

And what are you going to use against the west, those nukes that you're NOT building?


(AFP) - Top Iranian figure Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Iran's decision to resume sensitive nuclear work was "irreversible" and warned that Western opposition to Iran's program will "cost them dearly."

During a Friday sermon, the prominent ayatollah said: "You could drag things on but Iran's decision is irreversible," drawing chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" from the faithful.

Rafsanjani's remarks came a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board of governors adopted a resolution expressing "serious concern" at Tehran's decision to resume uranium conversion activities.

The influential former president warned worshippers not to "take lightly what happened at the IAEA. It is very important and will create new conditions for our country and the region. It will turn a new leaf in the history of our revolution.

"It will cost them dearly," he vowed, signaling the possibility of a hardened stance by a country that plays an important role in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf as well as being a major oil producer.

"Bear in mind that you cannot treat Iran like Iraq or Libya," added Rafsanjani, who heads Iran's top arbitration body, the Expediency Council.

Hundreds of worshippers took to the streets after the prayers, demanding Iran's nuclear rights and shouting slogans against the "Great Satan".

Since early Friday, Iranian state TV has been airing interviews with ordinary people on the street slamming the IAEA decision and insisting on Iran's right to nuclear technology.