Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has rejected efforts by the
United States to engage in diplomacy about its nuclear program, warning
that additional sanctions will only make Tehran more determined.
Mr. Ahmadinejad spoke during a televised speech Saturday to workers at
the opening of a new industrial site in the southern Iranian city of
He said U.S. President Barack Obama had offered Iran "three or four
beautiful words" but nothing of substance, adding that the U.S. has not
lifted existing sanctions or reduced its level of propaganda.
Also Saturday, Iranian atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi told Iran's
ILNA news agency that his department has submitted plans for two new
nuclear facilities to President Ahmadinejad, and that construction
could start by August.
The U.S. is calling on members of the United Nations Security Council
to approve a fourth round of sanctions against Iran because of its
The United States and its allies suspect Iran is enriching uranium to
develop nuclear weapons, a charge the Islamic Republic denies.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal says IAEA and Western
intelligence investigators are trying to determine how an Iranian firm
was able to obtain special hardware for enriching uranium.
In a report published Saturday, the U.S. newspaper quotes unnamed
officials who say an Iranian company closely linked to Iran's nuclear
program acquired critical valves and vacuum gauges, despite sanctions
intended to keep such equipment out of Iran.
The officials say the equipment was made by a French company that until
December was owned by U.S. industrial conglomerate Tyco International.
The French and U.S. companies told the Journal they had no knowledge of the case.
The report says the International Atomic Energy Agency launched the
probe after receiving an e-mail alleging that illicit goods were being
sent to Iran, through an intermediary representing a Chinese company.