Ahmadinejad snubs Sarkozy, says Iran will never recognise Israel

December 16th, 2008 - 8:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Dec 16 (IANS) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday accused his French counterpart Nicholas Sarkozy of arrogance for his pro-Israel stand and said Iran will never recognize “the Zionist regime”, official IRNA news agency reported.”Whoever is to talk with the Iranian nation should know that Iranians would never recognise the Zionist regime,” Ahmadinejad said addressing a large crowd in the city of Ahvaz, capital of the western province of Khuzestan.

In an oblique reference to French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s remark that he would not talk with Iranian leadership for its anti-Israel stance, Ahmadinejad said: “All who are to talk with Iranian nation should notice that Iranians would talk only to those who call for an end to Israeli crimes, aggression, occupation, ideology and the basic of Zionism.”

Sarkozy, an outspoken critic of Iran since coming to office in 2007, said Monday he could not shake hands with Ahmadinejad because the Iarnian leader had said Israel should be “wiped off the map”. He also said Ahmadinejad did not represent Iran.

Accusing Sarkozy of speaking arrogantly like the Pharaos (ancient Egyptian rulers), Ahmadinejad said: “I would tell him that you are making conditions for talks which no Iranian has ever asked or will ever ask to shake hand or hold talks with you”.

Iran’s relations with the US and the West have been strained over its controversial nuclear power programme.

Washington and Western governments say Tehran has been trying to make an atom bomb under the guise of a civil nuclear programme while Iran has persistently denied the charge but also refused to stop uranium enrichment activities.

The Islamic country is presently under three sets of UN diplomatic sanctions.

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