Ahmadinejad says Iran has done nothing to warrant enmity

Reuters , Thursday 12 Jan 2012

After arriving in Cuba, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran is being 'punished' for no good reason

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flashed the victory sign and said Iran had done nothing to warrant enmity from its enemies after he arrived in Cuba on Wednesday amid heightened international tensions.

He said nothing about the bomb attack that killed an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran earlier in the day, which his government blamed on Israel and the United States, the leaders of international opposition to Iran's nuclear program.

Ahmadinejad was to meet with President Raul Castro later, but shortly after arrival in the Cuban capital he told students in veiled remarks at the University of Havana that Iran was being "punished" for no good reason.

"Have we assaulted someone? Have we wanted more than we should have? Never, never. We have only asked to speak about and establish justice," Ahmadinejad said.

Earlier, he declined to comment upon landing at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport, where he smiled and flashed the victory sign several times at reporters as he was met by Esteban Lazo, one of Cuba's vice presidents.

Cuba was his third stop on a Latin American tour meant to show support from four leftist-led nations - Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador - as Iran is increasingly isolated by tightening Western economic sanctions.

The four countries are united with Iran primarily in their antipathy toward the United States, and political and economic ties with the Islamic Republic have expanded in recent years. They also have endorsed Iran's right to develop nuclear energy.

The international standoff over Iran's nuclear activities has hung heavy over Ahmadinejad's tour, although he and Venezuelan President Hugh Chavez joked on Monday about having an atomic bomb at their disposal.

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