Iran’s president says the era of using missiles and nuclear weapons in politics is over and Tehran is not concerned about the deployment of missile systems.
“Relations between Iran and Turkey are strong and not easily damaged,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in reference to the deployment of NATO missile systems in Turkey during a press conference on the sidelines of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Thursday.
In November, Turkey accepted the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) decision to deploy a missile system on its soil after NATO conceded not to single out Iran as a target in its missile plan.
In September, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen proposed to develop a EUR 200-million (USD 253-million) US-backed missile system around Europe against possible attacks by “rogue states.”
The NATO chief then named Iran’s nuclear program as one of the reasons that justify the necessity of a missile system, and said, “If Iran eventually acquires a nuclear capability, that will be very dangerous, and a direct threat to the allies.”
This is while Iran, as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has declared that its nuclear program has merely for civilian applications.
Amid Western efforts to persuade Turkey to join the NATO missile system, Ankara announced that a plan which singles out Iran as a threat would be unacceptable.
“Mentioning one country, Iran… is wrong and will not happen. A particular country will not be targeted…. We will definitely not accept that,” Gul said earlier this month.
Following Turkey’s demand, Rasmussen said last week that “it (the final plans of the missile system) need not mention the names of any particular country.”
The Iranian president said, “The era of using missiles and atomic [weapons] in political relations is over and we are not concerned about the deployment of any missile systems in the world.”
Missiles could not hinder the spread of belief and culture and thousands of missile systems cannot stop our nation’s resolve to move towards freedom, Ahmadinejad added.
He reiterated the ineffectiveness of US-engineered sanctions against Tehran, saying, “Sanctions have no effect on Iran’s programs.”
He added that the West planned to harm Iran’s economy through sanctions, but they faced economic recessions themselves.
The UN Security Council adopted a fourth round of sanctions against Tehran in June under intense pressure from the US, which claims Iran’s nuclear program may have potential military applications.
Shortly after the imposition of the UN sanctions, the US, which possesses and has used nuclear weapons in the past, imposed unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Iran says it has the right to use the peaceful applications of nuclear energy for electricity generation and medical research.