Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ahmadinejad: Iran Not Afraid of Uproar Over Nuclear Moves

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Monsters and Critics:
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday that Iran would forge ahead with its nuclear programmes and was not afraid of the uproar it had caused in the West. 'The Iranian government and nation has no fear of the Western ballyhoo and will continue its nuclear programmes with decisiveness and wisdom,' Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran.

'Today we have started the nuclear research programme and, God willing, in the near future, this (nuclear) energy will be fully put at the disposal of the Iranian people,' Ahmadinejad added in the speech, carried live by Khabar news network. READ MORE

He said that the two-and-half-year suspension of the research programme by the previous government of President Mohammad Khatami was made with no rational reason.

'(Nuclear) Research is the legal right of our nation and we have several times assured the world that we are not after any misuse (in our atomic programme) and even called on all world states to assists us in our nuclear programmes in order to remove all remaining doubts,' Ahmadinejad said.

He accused the Western world of trying to deprive Iran from any scientific progress and make them dependent.

Earlier Wednesday, Iranian ex-president Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani called on the Western world to act wisely in the dispute over Iran's nuclear research programmes.

'The West should now act wisely and not do anything which they themselves would later regret,' Rafsanjani said, referring to threats ranging from sanctions to military operations against Iran's nuclear installations.

Speaking at Teheran University on the occasion of a religious feast marking the end of this year's pilgrimage, Rafsanjani also called on the Iranian side to stay calm and just stick to implementing its legitimate legal rights in line with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In the presence of inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran removed Tuesday seals from the uranium enrichment plant in Natanz in central Iran for resuming nuclear research work.

Iran will remove on Wednesday the seals of the two plants at Farayand in Isfahan - also central Iran - and Pars Trash in the capital Teheran.

'It is the internationally acknowledged right of every (NPT member) country to pursue scientific research programmes and the huge wave of protests just reflects the imperialistically oriented Western will to deprive the Third World of progress,' Rafsanjani said.

'Whatever the West plans to do, fact remains that nobody can take away scientific achievements from a country,' added the former president who still has an influential role in Iran's political landscape.

Rafsanjani, who is a harsh opponent of President Ahmadinejad's radical policies, reiterated that Iran would never misuse nuclear technology for military purposes.

He noted that even during the 1980-1988 war against Iraq when the regime of Saddam Hussein bombarded Iranian cities with chemical weapons, 'Teheran did not violate humanitarian standards and did not retaliate'.