- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2008

TEHRAN, Sept 18, 2008 (AFP) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday that Iran has no fear of threatened new international sanctions over its refusal to halt controversial nuclear work.

“Those who want to impose sanctions are demonstrating their helplessness,” Mr. Ahmadinejad told a press conference before heading to New York for the UN General Assembly.

His comments came ahead of a meeting on Friday of six world powers which have offered Iran a package of incentives to freeze uranium enrichment, the process at the heart of Western fears it is seeking atomic weapons.

The White House warned Iran on Monday that it faces possible new sanctions after a new report by the UN atomic watchdog that Tehran had not halted enrichment and was still stalling a UN investigation into its nuclear work.

“Let them impose sanctions against us… the more they impose sanctions, the more we thank God,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said. “A country that owns nuclear energy, stem cells, aerospace industries… does not need these countries.”

Iran, which insists that its nuclear program is geared solely towards energy generation, is already under three sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to freeze enrichment.

The process makes nuclear fuel but can be diverted to produce the fissile core of an atomic bomb.

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