The Obama administration is pressing for what would be a fourth round of international sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, which Western powers suspect is aimed at delivering a nuclear weapon. Clinton is expected to use her UN visit to lobby Security Council members to approve tough new sanctions on Iran.
But she is no doubt aware that Ahmadinejad’s high-profile visit to New York and a fiery, us-little-guys-against-them-bullies speech from him risk winning some sympathetic support in an international gathering with many small and relatively powerless countries.
Declaring on “Meet the Press” Sunday that Ahmadinejad would “try to divert attention and confuse the issue” in his speech, Clinton added, “We’re not going to permit Iran to try to change the story from their failure to comply” with NPT obligations.
Iran has failed to allow UN nuclear inspectors into all of its nuclear sites and last year revealed previously unknown underground sites only after word of their existence began to surface.
But Ahmadinejad remains unapologetic about Iran’s nuclear program. He signaled his intentions to stay on the offensive at the UN in comments he made before leaving Tehran Sunday. Noting that the US is the only country to have ever used a nuclear weapon against an adversary, the Iranian president said that “unfortunately” the NPT has failed at nonproliferation and disarmament.