18 February 2018

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02/10/2005 IRAN

Khatami says Iran won't give up N-power, warns of consequences

Tehran says it wants atomic energy for 'peaceful purposes' but concealed its programme for 18 years.

Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – "Neither my government, nor any other [Iranian] government can give a convincing reply to people [who seek our] giving up peaceful nuclear technology," Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said yesterday. Mr Khatami warned European countries of "heavy consequences" if nuclear talks fail.

"We will give guarantees that we are not moving towards the construction of a nuclear weapon as it is something that we are against but we will never renounce civilian nuclear technology," he said in a speech before the diplomatic corps.

"We believe that enrichment is a very clear right that we will never renounce," he added. Enriched uranium can be used to produce nuclear power, but the technology behind it can also be used to develop weapons-grade nuclear material.

Recently, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that a US attack on Iran is not on the agenda "at this point".

Talks are currently underway between Iran and three European countries—France, Germany and the United Kingdom—about Iran's nuclear programme. These talks are likely to reach a conclusion this July.

According to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 to which Iran is a party, countries that lacked nuclear technology in 1968 are allowed only to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. A United Nations agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has the right to inspect the nuclear facilities of any country who signed the treaty, including Iran's.

In 2002, Iran was forced to admit that for 18 years it had been secretly developing the ability to enrich uranium, the first step in building a nuclear device.

Iran suspended the enrichment of uranium on November 22, three days before the IAEA was to submit a report to the UN Security Council revealing that the Islamic Republic was not open enough about its nuclear programme

Among Iran's ruling political class, there is a consensus about the country's nuclear ambitions.

Former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani denounced what he called the "bullying by the IAEA" stressing that "Israel has stockpiled banned nuclear weapons without any protest or opposition from the IAEA".

Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, called on all Iranians to rally en masse today, February 10, which is the 26th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in order "to frustrate the hopes of the enemies, including the United States and the Zionist regime." (LF)

See also

26/02/2008 IRAN
Doubts of the IAEA over the Iranian bomb bring Tehran toward new sanctions
The report of the UN atomic energy agency asserts that it has never had "credible assurances" on the military program, which according to U.S. intelligence had been ended in 2003. "Sanctions will not stop us", says Ahmadinejad.

07/11/2011 IRAN
IAEA report says Tehran is manufacturing the atomic bomb
Leaks on the contents of the UN nuclear watchdogs report which will be published later this week. Iran claims it is an American plot, the documents are "manufactured". Israel: an attack against Iranian installations "increasingly likely". Invitations from Russia and France to seek solutions through diplomatic channels.

19/02/2008 IRAN
God will take Iranians to task if they abandon their nuclear programme, Khamenei says
In a speech commemorating Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, the country’s top leader reiterates the will of the Iranian people to take on an historic role and defend its rights, including its right to atomic energy.

Archbishop Sako: vote on U.S. troop withdrawal conceals Iraq's "fragile equilibrium"
The archbishop of Kirkuk curbs the enthusiasm, and points to the profound divisions still remaining in Iraq. He also reiterates the risk of civil war if the country is left to itself, and warns: the Iranian nuclear menace is a concrete threat for the entire Middle East.

02/12/2004 IRAN - IRAQ - ISRAEL
Iranian group recruiting thousands of suicide bombers for Iraq and Israel

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