A new round of international sanctions against Iran looked almost inevitable today, after the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei said talks with the Islamic republic were at a “stalemate”, and the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared to rule out a compromise.
Speaking to journalists, Ahmadinejad told journalists in Tehran that: “From our point of view, Iran’s nuclear issue is over.”
“We will never negotiate over the obvious rights of the Iranian nation,” Ahmadinejad said, a clear signal that his government was not prepared to suspend the enrichment of uranium, as demanded by the UN security council.
Tehran has been given until the UN general assembly, at the end of this month, to respond to an offer of a compromise over its uranium enrichment. Ahmadinejad made clear he was willing to talk broadly about “global challenges”, but not about enrichment.
The Iranian president said his country would continue to have routine talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). But in a report to the agency’s board, the IAEA director general, ElBaradei, said Iran had failed to answer questions arising from evidence suggesting it had at least contemplated the design of a warhead.