Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Iran Says it Will Never Scrap Nuclear Program

The Associated Press, The Jerusalem Post:

Iran said Wednesday it will never scrap its controversial nuclear program and talks with Europeans were intended to protect Iran's nuclear achievements, not abandon them.

The remarks by Ali Agha Mohammadi, spokesman of Iran's powerful Supreme National Security Council, are the latest in a hardening of his country's stance amid ongoing talks with European negotiators and indicate Tehran's possible frustration at the lack of progress in the bilateral talks. ...

Mohammadi said Iran will keep pursuing its nuclear ambitions even if talks underway with Europeans fail.

"We have the power to negotiate because we keep our (nuclear) achievements in our hands and we are negotiating to protect them," Mohammadi said Wednesday. "It's definite that we will protect our scientific achievements as a basic pillar whether talks make progress or not." ...

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi also suggested the Iran-European talks are making no progress. ...

Iran says it already possesses the technology to control the whole nuclear fuel cycle - from extracting uranium ore to enriching it.

Tehran has also said it is determined to become a nuclear fuel supplier and sell nuclear reactor fuel internationally once it produces enriched uranium, establishing the Islamic republic as a country in possession of technology the United States wants to keep from spreading.