By Peter Fedynsky, VOA, New York
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Tehran is holding talks with Russia about building another nuclear power plant in Iran. He made the statement at a news conference in New York City, where he also shared his utopian vision for all humanity.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran during a press conference in New York, September 23, 2011.
Ahmadinejad said Iran needs 20 times the amount of power the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear-power plant supplies. Speaking through an interpreter, the Iranian leader said another 19,000 megawatts are needed.
"There are currently conversations ongoing for the Russians to provide that, but it is only a general proposal. And from here, today, as we speak, I want to officially invite other firms and other entities to come and bid and propose their participation for building these power plants," said Ahmadinejad.
The Iranian leader reiterated his claim that his country is producing only low-enriched uranium to create radio-isotopes used in medical treatment. He said Tehran is prepared to stop enrichment immediately if the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, supplies Iran's domestic needs.
On another energy issue, President Ahmadinejad called for all outside forces to leave the Persian Gulf, saying Iran can guarantee the security of energy supplies transported through the area.
He rejected any talks between Israel and the Palestinians, saying Palestinians have a right to self-determination that is not subject to dialogue. This contrasted with his call for dialogue between Armenians and Azerbaijanis over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, a land-locked enclave with an Armenian majority ruled by Azerbaijan. Armenia and Azerbaijan share borders with Iran.
Ahmadinejad also said a small minority of power-hungry nations will not be able to withstand a spiritual wave sweeping the world that will result in a joyous day when all of humanity's major problems are eliminated.
"A day in which all humans are respected, ignorance will no longer exist, poverty will no longer exist, hatred and animosity will no longer exist, and that day will be filled with beauty, mutual respect and joy."
Ahmadinejad was in New York City along with other world leaders for the opening of the annual U.N. General Assembly.
He opened his news conference thanking the New York Police Department for their security effort, the people of the city for their patience, and he apologized for any traffic jams that his motorcades may have caused.
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