[QODLink]
Middle East

Iran holds firm on uranium enrichment right

President Rouhani urges the West to recognise Tehran's right to enrich uranium in any deal over its nuclear programme.

Last Modified: 22 Sep 2013 11:38
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Iran's President Rouhani has urged recognition of Iran's right to enrich uranium within its own territory[Reuters]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stated that Western governments must recognise his country's right to enrich uranium in any deal to allay their concerns about its nuclear programme.

In a statement on Sunday, Rouhani said that the recognition should extend to "all rights of the Iranian nation, particularly nuclear rights and the right to enrich uranium on its territory within the framework of international rules".

He was referring to the terms of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

His comments, at an annual military parade, came on the eve of his departure for the UN General Assembly in New York.

"If they (Western governments) accept these rights, the Iranian people are a rational people, peaceful and friendly. We stand ready to cooperate and together we can settle all the region's problems and even global ones," Rouhani said.

"The Iranian people want development and are not looking to make an atomic weapon."

Standing divided

Rouhani’s readiness to initiate talks with Western countries has been supported by Iran's theocratic leader and highest authority, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, but stands in stark contrast against sentiments expressed by Iran’s Elite Revolutionary Guard (IRGC).

The Iranian people want development and are not looking to make an atomic weapon.

Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran,

The IRGC, which is an elite force that was established to protect Iran's revolution in 1979, warned the country's diplomats about the dangers of dealing with US officials.

"Historical experiences make it necessary for the diplomatic apparatus of our country to carefully and sceptically monitor the behaviour of White House officials so that the righteous demands of our nation are recognised and respected by those who favour interaction," a statement from the IRGC said.

Nuclear suspicions

Iran's nuclear programme has been met with tough economic sanctions from the West over suspicion it is striving for weapons capability. Iran still contends the programme is purely peaceful.

Rouhani, a moderate on Iran's political scene, has made several diplomatic overtures since his election in June, and there has been speculation that he could also meet US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

A US official has privately acknowledged the administration's desire to engineer a handshake between the two leaders, which would be the highest-level US-Iranian contact since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

398

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
join our mailing list