Iran insists nuclear programme to stay

Iranian President Muhammad al-Khatami has insisted that Tehran will not drop its nuclear programme.

    President al-Khatami said the US cannot browbeat Iran

    In a meeting with foreign diplomats on Wednesday, al-Khatami also warned that if his country's legitimate demand for access to peaceful nuclear technology was not met by the European Union, then Iran would no longer be obliged to continue negotiations.

    "No government, neither mine nor any other, has the right to deprive the nation on its path to technology, including the national nuclear technology," al-Khatami said.

    "[There is] no way we would ignore the nation's legitimate will for peaceful nuclear technology and instead give in to illegitimate demands from outside."

    Psychological war

    Al-Khatami labelled US threats to Iran on the nuclear issue as a psychological war but said "the situation has become more dangerous in this state than before".

    Iran says its nuclear programme
    is for peaceful purposes

    "But if the threat rhetoric remained, then also Iran would switch towards a different approach and that would be to no country's benefit," he said.

    While reiterating that Iran was not seeking to produce nuclear weapons, the president said he was willing to give guarantees in this regard.
     
    "We are not after nuclear weapons, not after tensions, not after wars, but we are also not ready to be the scapegoat of those powers whose policies have failed," he said, referring to the US' policies in Iraq.
     
    "We have suspended uranium enrichment voluntarily and for showing our goodwill towards the global society, but we never agreed for anything permanent," al-Khatami said.

    US pressure

    Speaking to Aljazeera from Tehran, Dr Abbas Khamyar, an Iranian political analyst, said the third round of Iranian-European talks that started in Geneva two days ago were "very cold" because of growing US pressure after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s recent visit to the region.

    "It seems Rice's visit has yielded its fruit as Blair and Chirac have followed the US policy," Khamyar told Aljazeera.

    "Blair, for instance, accused Tehran of supporting terrorism while Chirac said Iran's stance was not assuring," he added.

    Khamyar said the issue of Iran's nuclear programme has become a major element in US-European reconciliation.

    "Europe and the United States agree on pressuring Tehran, especially with regard to the issues of the Middle East and Palestine. However, Europe refuses any US military action on Iran," he said. 

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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