Iran not afraid of US attack: Ahmadinejad
The Iranian President made the remarks in a dialogue with Indonesian Islamic leaders.india Updated: May 12, 2006 16:53 IST
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that his country is not afraid of US military action over its uranium enrichment programme, but added he thinks any such strikes are very unlikely.
Ahmadinejad made the remarks in a dialogue with Indonesian Islamic leaders. Asked whether his country was prepared to face an attack by the US, he said "that is very unlikely because they know Iran is a strong country".
"They are waging a propaganda campaign with strong words. The people of Iran and the country are not afraid of them," he said to applause from the audience.
One member of the 30-strong audience urged Ahamdinejad to go ahead and develop nuclear weapons, saying the "enemies of Islam" also had them.
The Iranian leader did not reply directly, but quipped that "every young man in the Islamic world is an atomic bomb because they have faith, God and love the character of the Prophet Muhammad".
Ahmadinejad received a warm welcome during his three-day visit to Indonesia, where his willingness to criticise the US-led wars, his outspoken criticism of Israel, and his refusal to stand down to pressure on the nuclear dispute resonates with many of its young people.
Later today, he was scheduled to attend prayers at Jakarta's Grand Mosque, reputed to be Southeast Asia's largest, before flying to Bali to take part in a conference.
Brushing off threats of sanction, Ahmadinejad said in an interview with Metro TV yesterday that the West had more to lose than Tehran did if it was isolated.
Asked what it would take to begin talks with the US, he said Iran was "ready to engage in dialogue with anybody".