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Khatami: Putting pressure on Iran will benefit no one

Tehran, Feb 26, IRNA-Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami in an exclusive interview with the Qatari-based al-Jazeera news network Saturday evening elaborated on major regional and international issues as well as latest developments in Iran.

As for the US and Europe's growing pressures on Iran, Khatami said this was not the first time that the West is exerting pressure on Iran.

"It has been doing so throughout the past few years," Khatami stressed.

"The US pressures have increased not only on Iran but also on the whole world under the neocon administrations in Washington," said the former president.

He added that the Washington was pursuing a strategy to control the whole world and make other powers cave in to the US.

According to Khatami, Washington was trying to weaken Europe's traditional relations with other states by interfering in its bilateral relations with other countries.

He argued that France's recent approach towards Syria and Lebanon was an evident example of the US interference in European states relations with other countries.

As for Tehran's nuclear dossier, Khatami stressed that Iran was not seeking to produce nuclear weapons, nor does it have any plan to do so, said the former president noting that the Iranian scientists were only trying to acquire technical and scientific progress in accordance with the international laws and regulations.

Stressing that Tehran's right to access nuclear technology "has to be recognized," Khatami said that Tehran, "On the other hand, has to try to allay international concerns regarding its nuclear programs through negotiations and confidence building.

"I have repeatedly told my European friends that exerting pressures on and seeking pretexts against Iran will not serve the interests of any parties. Neither Iran nor Europe or the US would benefit from it," Khatami stressed.

He expressed hope that Iran's nuclear standoff would be solved through negotiations and within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Warning that making any crisis out of Tehran's nuclear activities would not be limited to Iranian borders, Khatami recommended all parties to deal with the issue "more wisely."

As for the fate of the reforms he initiated in Iran in the post-Khatami era, the former president said "Iranians will never consent to anything less than freedom, independence and progress." He stressed that these major demands of the Iranian nation were "properly addressed" by Iran's Islamic Revolution and "that is why our revolution has become a global phenomenon today," he noted.

The former president also stressed that nothing "can stop our nation from moving forwards on the road of reforms."

He added that if the trend of reforms was followed based on the nation's requests and in light of the achievements of the Islamic Revolution, particularly during the past eight years, then the trend of reforms would become an "irreversible process heading to democracy," Khatami stressed.

... Payvand News - 2/26/06 ... --

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