Ahmadinejad: Iran not developing nuclear bomb
JP: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday denied claims that the Islamic Republic was trying to develop a nuclear bomb, AFP reported.
Ahmadinejad, who is currently on an official visit to Ecuador, said that Iran would continue its resistance against Western pressure over its nuclear program, according to the report.
"They insult our country and our citizens, of course we'll resist pressure," Ahmadinejad said during a press conference. "The nuclear question is a political excuse. They all know full well Iran isn't interested in producing nuclear bombs. We don't believe in making atom bombs. We believe it is immoral."
Ahmadinejad visited Cuba on Wednesday where he said Iran had done nothing to warrant enmity from its enemies.
He said nothing about the bomb attack that killed an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran earlier in the day, which his government blamed on Israel and the United States, the leaders of international opposition to Iran's nuclear program.
Shortly after arrival in the Cuban capital he told students in veiled remarks at the University of Havana that Iran was being "punished" for no good reason.
"Have we assaulted someone? Have we wanted more than we should have? Never, never. We have only asked to speak about and establish justice," Ahmadinejad said.
Earlier, he declined to comment upon landing at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport, where he smiled and flashed the victory sign several times at reporters as he was met by Esteban Lazo, one of Cuba's vice presidents.
Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, in charge while Ahmadinejad travels, told Iranian state television "this terrorist act was carried out by agents of the Zionist regime (Israel) and by those who claim to be combating terrorism (the United States) with the aim of stopping our scientists from serving" Iran.
He said Iran's nuclear program would go on.
The White House denied any US role in the car bomb attack and Israel has declined to comment. But the controversy overshadowed the display of Iran's ties with Cuba, which is just 145 km from the United States, its longtime ideological foe.
Before his speech, the University of Havana awarded Ahmadinejad an honorary doctorate in political science, saying he had strengthened relations with Cuba and other Latin American countries and "valiantly defended the right of his people to self-determination" in the face of international pressure.
It was not yet known if Ahmadinejad would visit former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who is now mostly retired at age 85 but still meets occasionally with visiting foreign leaders.