Stop Fussing About Nuclear Iran - It's Too Late, Ahmadinejad Says

By Julie Stahl | July 7, 2008 | 8:18 PM EDT

Jerusalem ( - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that countries that oppose Iran should give up their "ugly behavior" toward his country since it is already a nuclear state.

There is no single International Atomic Energy Agency member state that has cooperated so much with the agency, Ahmadinejad said, according to the Iranian Fars News Agency.

"From our viewpoint, Iran's nuclear issue has ended," Ahmadinejad told reporters during a press conference, noting that the West had discovered that harsh measures against Iran would not bear fruit.

"Iran is a nuclear state which is moving on a peaceful path and seeks to attain its rights within rules and regulations," Ahmadinejad said.

According to the Iranian leader, some countries "regret their previous measures against Iran" and have approached Iran to say that they thought the Islamic Republic would retreat in the face of threats, and they confessed that they erred.

One or two powers are still belligerent toward Iran, Ahmadinejad said. "You made the problem ... the world countries are not seeking war and [the] bomb. I advise you to give up this ugly behavior."

The West believes that Iran is using its civilian nuclear program to clandestinely develop an atomic bomb - a charge Tehran denies. The United Nations has slapped sanctions on Iran that have had some impact, but analysts say it's not enough.

Still, experts say they do not believe that Iran has reached the point yet where it has fully mastered the technology needed to weaponize its nuclear program.

During the same press conference, Ahmadinejad predicted that a power vacuum is coming soon to the region and said that Iran is prepared to "fill the gap."

"The political power of the occupiers is collapsing rapidly," Ahmadinejad said during a press conference in Tehran, in reference to U.S. troops in Iraq.

"Soon, we will see a huge power vacuum in the region. Of course, we are prepared to fill the gap, with the help of neighbors and regional friends like Saudi Arabia, and with the help of the Iraqi nation," he said according to the Associated Press.

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