News / Middle East

Ahmadinejad Mocks Obama's Nuclear Strategy

Both Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki are criticizing the new U.S. nuclear doctrine presented by President Barack Obama.

Iranian TV showed President Ahmadinejad delivering a speech Wednesday, criticizing President Obama and the new doctrine.

Mr. Ahmadinejad depicted the U.S. as continuing on an aggressive path first  blazed by former U.S. President George Bush.

He says that he advises Mr. Obama to be careful and not to follow the path of Mr. Bush, or else he will receive the same harsh response that the world gave to the former U.S. president. He insists that he doesn't want Mr. Obama to suffer, as he puts it, the same fate as Mr. Bush did and that he must be careful about what he says and does.

The Iranian president also slammed U.S. leaders, calling them cowboys who put their finger on the trigger when they are losing an argument.  He branded Mr. Obama as inexperienced, saying he would fail to corner Iran, because his predecessors "had also failed."

President Obama announced the new U.S. nuclear doctrine Tuesday, pledging not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states. Mr. Obama excluded both Iran and North Korea from his declaration, since neither state appears to be cooperating with the international community over non-proliferation.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki also condemned U.S. attempts to impose new nuclear sanctions on Iran, complaining that Washington was trying to punish Tehran "for a crime it has not committed."

Houchang Hassan-yari, who teaches political science at the Royal Military College of Canada, says that Foreign Minister Mottaki is using logic to defend Iran's position, while President Ahmadinejad is just using rhetoric:

"We have to make a distinction between what Ahmadinejad says and what his minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Mottaki is talking about. In the case of Ahmadinejad, this is part of his personality: very aggressive and attacking Obama without really addressing the issue that Obama raised," said Hassan-yari. "As for Mr. Mottaki, he tries to make the Iranian case based on legality of the question of nuclear (weapons) by insisting that Iran is part of the NPT, and consequently, Iran is inviting others, including the Americans, to do their part of the NPT, meaning to disarm."

Hassan-yari says it also makes sense that Mr. Ahmadinejad would not be pleased by the new U.S. nuclear defense doctrine, because his own nuclear policy, since becoming president, has been a "first strike" doctrine:

"This is part of Mr. Ahmadinejad's foreign policy. When he took over as president, the first change he made in Iranian foreign policy was to initiate the event-to have a preventive attack as he used to call it-instead of waiting for the other side to attack and then to react. So, in that sense, he tries to portray the Obama administration review as nonsense that is not going to do any good for the international community," said Hassan-yari.

The U.S. and other Western allies have been working to impose new sanctions on Iran, because of its refusal to stop enriching uranium. Iran insists that it is enriching uranium for peaceful civilian purposes, but Western nations suspect that it is trying to build nuclear weapons.

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