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US threats against Iran tantamount to psychological war: Larijani

Tehran, April 11, IRNA-US threats against Iran tantamount to psychological war, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Larijani said on Monday.

Larijani, who is currently on a visit to Qatar, made the remarks during an interview with Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television.

"Iran has prepared itself for various situations. Vicious measures can harm the security of the entire region," he said.

"Iran is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and is the only country that sympathizes with other member countries in this nuclear right. Its referral to the UN Security Council because of its research work will be a big disgrace to the council," he added.

Pointing to US threats against Iran, he went on to say that the US should not encroach on the activities of others just to prove itself. "It should adopt peaceful ways of confronting issues." Referring to the abuse of terrorism suspects in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison by US troops, he asked: "Is this the democracy the US claims to champion in Iraq?"

Shifting to Iran's nuclear case and the upcoming visit of IAEA chief Mohamed Elbaradei to Iran, Larijani said: "IAEA inspectors are currently in Iran to inspect its nuclear sites as they have been doing in the past because Tehran, like other members of the agency, has the right to peaceful nuclear technology."

"All nuclear sites of the country are under the supervision of the IAEA," and added that Tehran believes constructive negotiation can settle the nuclear problem because it has nothing to conceal." Larijani also pointed to the need to adopt a logical attitude towards countries which have the same desire to access nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, saying "otherwise these countries will be encouraged to act in such a way as to prevent others from accessing nuclear technology."

Referring to the West's accusation that Tehran is in the process of producing a nuclear bomb, he said that the accusation has no basis in fact since three years of inspection by IAEA inspectors have not unearthedevidence of this kind of activity by Iran.

Besides, he added, "Iran has announced that other countries may participate in its nuclear program so as to remove all doubts as to the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities," reiterating that "Iran is a responsible member of the IAEA and is committed to its responsibilities in this international body."

The SNSC secretary further remarked that ElBaradei's upcoming visit to Iran would provide an opportunity for holding talks and reiterated that "Tehran would continue its cooperation with the IAEA chief so he would succeed in his mission."

Referring to the West's reaction to the recent military maneuver conducted by Iran in the Hormuz Strait, he added: "Iran has not attacked any country over the past 150 years. It was (former Iraqi president) Saddam Hossein who attacked Iran first upon the US' order."

Elaborating on Iran's latest military exercise in the Persian Gulf, he added: "All regional countries got the same message that Iran's recent maneuver was carried out to preserve the security of the entire region because security is an interrelated issue. For example, insecurity in Iraq raises concerns in all regional states." "Iran is interested in establishing stability and security in the region. This will be in favor of all regional states," he added.

He pointed out that Iran has strategic cooperation with regional states and countries of the region view regional security as their responsiblity and not of outside countries.

Shifting to the much-hyped Iran-US talks on Iraq, Larijani said: "The US first called for negotiations with Iran one-and-a-half years ago but Tehran accepted the call only when the Iraqi leaders acknowledged that Iraq's developments and establishment of a democratic government in the country need Iran's cooperation." He said no agreement has been reached on a date for the talks.

Noting that the situation in Iraq is of great concern to regional states, he said that these states have reached the conclusion that "the US does not have a transparent policy or strategy on Iraq." The US has admitted that it made thousands of mistakes in Iraq, Larijani said, and added that "establishment of a national unity government in Iraq and withdrawal of occupying forces will usher in stability and security in the region."

On the objectives of the upcoming Tehran-Washington talks, he said no negotiation would take place because a fruitful outcome would depend on a change in US behavior.

Pointing to the peaceful coexistence of Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq, he said: "Sunnis and Shiites are not the main problem in Iraq but the problem is being manufactured outside the country." The SNSC secretary pinned the blame on the US for current events in Iraq, saying "its presence in the country" has triggered these events and "if Washington acknowledges its mistakes it should remove them."

He said the US should present a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq so that peace, democracy and a popular government can reign in that country.

All regional states call for the restoration of security in Iraq and reinforcement of unity among its people, he concluded.

... Payvand News - 4/11/06 ... --

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