TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s president said Monday he is proud to stoke international outrage with his latest remarks denying the Holocaust as he heads for the United Nations this week — showing he is as defiant as ever while his country comes under greater pressure to curtail its nuclear program.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad takes the world stage with a speech Wednesday to the U.N. General Assembly. He appears intent on showing he has not been weakened by three months of turmoil at home, where the pro-reform opposition has staged dramatic protests claiming Ahmadinejad’s victory in June presidential elections was fraudulent.
On Oct. 1, Iran is to enter key negotiations with the United States and other powers seeking concessions on Iran’s nuclear program.
Heading into the talks, Iran has firmly rejected demands it give up uranium enrichment. And it doesn’t want the talks to focus on the nuclear issue at all. But American and European officials warn that if no progress is made in the meetings, they will push for tougher U.N. sanctions against Iran.