Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ahmadinejad: Iran Would Maintain Nuke Program with Force

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday that the Iranian people would "use force" to protect the country's disputed nuclear program as he inaugurated a heavy water plant.

"One can not reave any country from its rights, the Iranian people would defend their rights to nuclear technology with force," the president said when inaugurating a heavy water plant in the town of Khondab, which is near the central city of Arak, some 230km southwest of Tehran.

"Iranian people will not accept injustice, they (Western countries) may create some problems, however, they could never prevent scientific progress," he said, adding "I am in charge of pursuing the nation's demand to seek nuclear energy."

"We don't care if they want it or not, they should understand that the Iranian people have made their decisions to get progress," he said.

Meanwhile, he reiterated that Iran did not want to acquire nuclear weapons.

"There is no talk of nuclear weapons and there is no discussion of nuclear weapons, we are not a threat to anyone", he stressed. READ MORE

Ahmadinejad said that Iran was not a threat to Israel, saying, "the message from Iranian people is peace, calm and co-existence with all nations based on justice, we are not a threat to anyone, even the Zionist regime."

"They have to accept that Iran is a strong country, which is developed and a supporter of peace," he said.

Earlier, senior Iranian officials declared that the production of the heavy water plant had entered another phase, adding that the facility now has the ability to produce up to 16 tons of heavy water a year consequently.

Heavy water produced by the plant has been used as a cooling fluid for a nuclear reactor nearby.

The West has accused Iran of trying to produce nuclear weapons under a civilian cover, a charge denied by Tehran.

Iran, the world's fourth largest oil exporter, says it needs to enrich uranium as a peaceful, alternative energy source and has the right to do so under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.