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Rafsanjani recommends US approach Iran through peaceful means

Tehran, Feb 11, IRNA -- Chairman of the Expediency Council (EC) Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Friday recommended that White House officials seek peaceful approaches toward the Islamic Republic, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Rafsanjani, in a sermon at Tehran weekly Friday prayers, said the policy of coercion toward Iran will never work, and warned US leaders against the consequences of any effort against Iran.

"I explicitly tell the White House that ... these threats will bear no fruit. They will not frighten us nor our people. Neither can you implement these threats," he said.

"And if one day you ever think about implementing these threats, you will pay the price, yourself."

Rafsanjani said neither Iran nor anywhere in the Persian Gulf is a place for the US to seek adventures.

"We recommend that they [US leaders] try to approach Iran through peaceful means and believe that this Revolution is lasting and eternal," he told worshipers at Tehran University campus.

Rafsanjani further added that the US must recognize the rights of the Iranian nation.

He said most developed countries are today using the nuclear technology to satisfy their increasing energy needs, stressing that the Islamic Republic cannot be prevented from what itself has achieved in exploiting that technology.

"They cannot tell the great Iran, the powerful Iran, ... which has developed this [nuclear] technology thanks to its own scientific capacity that you do not have the right to have nuclear [generated] electricity," he said.

"No one will accept this. Iran ... will not accept this."

Rafsanjani said Iran is determined to maintain the expertise that it has acquired in developing nuclear technology.

"You will see that in the future Iran will have all achievements of nuclear sciences at its disposal," he said.

Iran's former president said the Islamic Republic is seeking no adventure, and highlighted Tehran's cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a sign that Iran is seriously pursuing building confidence over its nuclear energy plans.

"We have extended excellent cooperation with the IAEA. We have cooperated with them in areas that we had not commitment to do so under mutual agreements. They inspected wherever they wanted to. We answered all their questions even though we were not obliged to do so," Rafsanjani said.

"We entered long discussions with the Europeans [over our nuclear energy program] and we have been negotiating with them for months. And our goal is simply building confidence."

Rafsanjani further warned that Iran will not withdraw from its decision to continue its uranium enrichment activities.

"They must not be mistaken. Iran still has no doubt over its decision to continue uranium enrichment activities. But we are telling you [the Europeans] that we will give you an opportunity to come, see and ask questions," he said.

"These enrichment activities are not for military nuclear purposes and are for peaceful purposes. This opportunity is merely for building confidence. You [the Europeans] say the same thing. Of course, the Europeans have both in written and in words have said that they are seeking confidence."

Rafsanjani said such confidence must be built within the course of a few months and that several months have already passed from the start of Iran-EU talks.

"If one day they [the Europeans] claim that they have developed no confidence despite all that they have seen, it will be then clear that they are not truthful," he said.

"We have given an opportunity [to the Europeans] and expect Europe to use it. We want them to tell us if there is any ambiguity and receive the response. After this opportunity is over, we will continue our uranium enrichment activities as well as our efforts to develop nuclear energy technology with all of our strength and capacities," Rafsanjani said.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the EC chairman described the recent anti-Iran allegations by US officials as a form of "psychological war", adding that what is already fueling US propaganda against Iran is the issue of Iran's nuclear energy programs.

Rafsanjani also said US policymakers have always failed in their efforts against the Islamic Republic.

"They know what price they will have to pay if they develop another evil thought in their mind," he said.

... Payvand News - 2/11/05 ... --

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