Iran Calls Leaked Documents a U.S. Plothttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/
TEHRAN — In Iran’s first official reaction to leaked State Department cables quoting Arab leaders as urging the United States to bomb Tehran’s nuclear facilities, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad dismissed the documents as American psychological warfare that would not affect his country’s relations with other nations, news reports said.
The documents seemed to show several Arab nations, notably Saudi Arabia, Iran’s rival for influence in the Persian Gulf, displaying such hostility that King Abdullah repeatedly implored Washington to “cut off the head of the snake” while there was still time.
Nonetheless, Mr. Ahmadinejad said at a news conference on Monday that Iran’s relations with its neighbors would not be damaged by the reports.
“Regional countries are all friends with each other. Such mischief will have no impact on the relations of countries,” he said, according to Reuters.
“Some part of the American government produced these documents,” he said. “We don’t think this information was leaked. We think it was organized to be released on a regular basis and they are pursuing political goals.”
News reports quoted Mr. Ahmadinejad as calling the documents “worthless” and without “legal value.”
Mr. Ahmadinejad’s news conference was scheduled before the leaked cables were published on Sunday and had been expected to focus on such issues as Iran’s scheduled negotiations on Dec. 5 with world powers over its nuclear program and plans at home to drastically reduce energy and food subsidies. Mr. Ahmadinejad said on Monday that while Iran and the world powers had agreed on a date, the site of the talks was still under discussion.
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes but many Western powers say it is designed to build nuclear weapons. That issue was one of the overarching themes of the first batch of leaked documents published Sunday in The New York Times and four European newspapers.
With steadily increasing sanctions, outside powers have been seeking to persuade Iran to curb its uranium enrichment, a process that can lead to the production of weapons-grade nuclear fuel.
Mr. Ahmadinejad reiterated that Tehran’s enrichment program was legal and “nonnegotiable,” Reuters said.“The complete enrichment cycle and the production of fuel are basic rights” of member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, and “are nonnegotiable,” Mr. Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.