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Iran dismisses challenges to its nuclear fuel plan

Tehran, March 6, IRNA -- Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi reiterated Sunday Iran's dismissal of challenges to the country's efforts to master nuclear fuel cycle. "Access to the technology of nuclear fuel cycle so long as it is not aimed at acquiring nuclear weapons while being subject to the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency must not face any impediment," he told a forum on nuclear technology held here.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is still insisting on the right of the countries membering the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and Additional Protocol to access peaceful nuclear technology," Kharrazi added.

The Iranian foreign minister also criticized a UN proposal, demanding freeze of all uranium enrichment activities, including by signatories of the NPT, describing it a as 'cause of concern'.

"Such proposals, besides having broad negative political and legal consequences, will create new discrimination among the developed and developing countries and will perpetuate economic, technological and industrial abyss among them.

"We consider expressions of concern by certain countries over peaceful exchange among members of the (NPT) treaty as a pretext to prevent countries from their legitimate right to nuclear energy in such areas as science, research, power generation and medicine," Kharrazi added.

According to the Iranian foreign minister, while there is an international need to encourage more countries to join the NPT, the UN call for putting further constraints on the activities of the treaty's members can be precursor to 'new threats'.

"It is necessary that any decision is made with care and vigilance...since any politically-motivated decision will be extremely jeopardizing, the destructive impacts of which cannot be obliterated easily," Kharrazi said.

The minister cited Israel's refusal to join the NPT and its secret atomic weapons program as the key block to make the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction.

... Payvand News - 3/6/05 ... --

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