RealNews

Iran’s New Leader Takes Tough Line, and Then Softens It

Iran’s conservative president-elect, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Sunday that he planned to move forward with his nation’s nuclear energy program, insisting that it was necessary for the development of the country. But he also agreed to continue discussions with three European nations, which, along with the United States, fear that the Islamic Republic is intent on building nuclear weapons. In his first news conference since his surprise election victory on Friday, Mr. Ahmadinejad outlined the kind of positions that made him the preferred candidate of Iran’s leaders, dismissing the need for any relationship with the United States, telling the Europeans they needed “to come down from their ivory towers,” and calling for the country to move forward with its nuclear program. Yet he also tempered his answers with conciliatory phrases as if to present a reassuring face to the world and the nation. Full Story

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