Iran News ...


Foreign Minister renews vows Iran not pursuing nukes

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, speaking in Rome on Thursday, rejected recent allegations against Iran regarding its nuclear energy activities, stressing that the Islamic Republic is pursuing no plan for production of nuclear weapons, IRNA reported.

Kharrazi told reporters before a religious conference that Iran is determined to continue cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and that Tehran will cooperate with the IAEA inspectors.

Iran's foreign minister was speaking in reaction to the remarks by US Under Secretary of State John Bolton in Berlin that Tehran is still continuing a nuclear program.

Kharrazi said Iran's nuclear energy program is meant for civil purposes, and that the Islamic Republic has a legitimate right to promote its nuclear energy technology.

Asefi rejects Bush's anti-Iran remarks, says Iran not after nukes

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi, speaking in Tehran on Thursday, rejected recent charges by US President George W. Bush against Iran, and refreshed pledges that nukes have no place in Iran's defense doctrine, IRNA reported.

Asefi said the US president speaks in a way as if the United States should decide for the rest of the world and the international community, stressing that this is never acceptable to the Islamic Republic.

He said the Islamic Republic has always supported the non-proliferation regime of weapons of mass destruction and has always played a major role in strengthening that regime.

Asefi added that Iran, which had been the victim of Baghdad's chemical weapons during the 1980-88 Iraqi-imposed war, is determined more than before to push forward international efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction.

"Based on religious reasons, previous battle experience and strategic considerations, Iran believes that the production of nuclear weapons can never promote its security," he said.

"These weapons have no place in Iran's defense doctrine." Asefi criticized the US for helping Israel develop weapons of mass destruction, and called on the White House to declare its policy regarding Israel's efforts to proliferate those weapons.

Iran, he stressed, has always underscored the need to make the Middle East a region free from weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons.

Asefi recalled US animosity against Iran over the past 25 years, and said this animosity, particularly US efforts to halt progress of Bushehr nuclear power plant, has made the Islamic Republic expand its capabilities in the area of nuclear technology so as to attain self-sufficiency in the area of energy.

"The technology to enrich uranium is a peaceful example of using nuclear technology for generating energy and all members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will have to cooperate with each other on that," he said.

Asefi described Iran's ability to develop the technology to recycle nuclear fuel as a great success.

He also recalled Iran's signing of an NPT additional protocol, stressing that Tehran is voluntarily implementing the protocol.

Asefi said Iran has accepted the comprehensive and accurate supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on its nuclear activities.

He added that Iran is playing its due part within the frameworks of an international cooperation in the market of supplying fuel for nuclear reactors.

... Payvand News - 2/13/04 ... --

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