Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned on Tuesday that an attack on his country’s nuclear facilities could spark a war with “no limits,” US media reported.
“The United States doesn’t understand what war looks like. When a war starts, it knows no limits,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in response to a question about any US-supported strike by Israel on Iran’s nuclear facilities. He is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly and UN summit against poverty and hunger.
“The United States has never entered a serious war, and has never been victorious,” the Atlantic magazine’s online edition quoted him as saying.
“Do you think anyone will attack Iran to begin with?” he said, according to the monthly’s website. “I really don’t think so. The Zionist regime is a very small entity on the map, even to the point that it doesn’t really factor into our equation.”
Talks about Iran’s nuclear ambitions reached a stalemate months ago.
On Tuesday, US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that Washington is “always interested in re-engaging Iran” on the fuel swap but wants to make sure Iran is sincere,
US Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman, speaking to reporters alongside Chu, said it was important to focus on larger talks between Iran and the five UN Security Council members plus Germany, not just on the narrower talks on the proposed fuel swap.
“Much has happened since that time to alter the facts on the ground … and so we believe it is very important that they should engage on the wider suite of issues” Poneman said.
Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday he was ready for nuclear talks with US President Barack Obama’s administration, but said “the whole outlook has to shift,” ABC News reported.
In separate remarks during his visit, Ahmadinejad criticized Western media for having a double standard in reporting on the case of an American woman facing the death penalty, a news agency reported Tuesday.
Ahmadinejad accused the West of launching a “heavy propaganda” campaign against the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, an Iranian woman who had been sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery, but failing to react with outrage over the imminent execution of Teresa Lewis in Virginia, according to state-run IRNA. Iran Lewis is a Virginia woman due to be put to death by injection on Thursday.