Monday, January 09, 2006

Khamenei: Iran 'Not Intimidated' Ahead of Breaking Nuclear Seals

Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Monsters and Critics:
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday that threats by the West would not intimidate Iran from pursuing its nuclear programmes as Teheran prepared to break the seals on its nuclear facilities.

Hussein Entezami, spokesman for the Iranian National Security Council, told ISNA news agency that Iran was just waiting for the inspectors of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to get the go-ahead from Vienna to break the seals.

'Those countries which now threaten us with sanctions should know that such threats will have no impact and not intimidate us, but in return encourage Iranian youth to improve their own scientific capabilities,' Khamenei said on state television. READ MORE

The Ayatollah, who constitutionally has the final say on all state affairs, said that although Iran welcomed foreign cooperation in nuclear programmes, it would never ever allow anyone to deprive the country of nuclear technology.

Iran's nuclear programme was achieved through the know-how of local scientists, the supreme leader added.

The news came as Iran and Russia ended their first round of nuclear negotiations, saying they planned to continue the talks on February 16 in Moscow.

Entezami told ISNA that the talks in the Iranian capital had been 'positive' but gave no further details.

Iran has long been at odds with the international community over its nuclear programme, with some western nations - chief among them the United States - accusing Teheran of harbouring nuclear weapons ambitions.

Teheran insists that its nuclear ambitions are purely for peaceful purposes.

Moscow has proposed enriching Iranian uranium on Russian soil to allay fears in the international community about uncontrolled Iranian use of a process which could lead to the building of an atomic bomb.

According to media speculation, Iran might acknowledge enrichment on Russian soil within a limited timetable, under the condition that Teheran eventually obtains permission for local enrichment from the IAEA.