PARIS, 25 Sept. (IPS) Iran reiterated on Saturday that its determination to reach full nuclear circle was non negotiable, but at the same time repeated that since the project is for civilian purposes, it would continue cooperating with both the European trio and the international nuclear watchdog.
“Taken at the country’s highest level, the program for attaining full capacity in nuclear field, something that it is our absolute right under the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) would go ahead”, Mr. Mohammad Hoseyn Moussavian, Iran’s second top negotiator with both the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Europe’s “big 3” told the Students News Agency “ISNA”.
The declaration came almost immediately after foreign affairs ministers of Britain, France and Germany sent news warnings to Iran, calling on it to respond positively to IAEA's demand for stopping at once its uranium enriching activities or faces sanctions from the United Nations Security Council.
Iran had never gave anybody any guarantee concerning the suspension of enriching uranium.
But in his interview with ISNA, Mr. Moussavian, the Secretary of the Foreign Department of Iran’s Supreme Council for National Security (SCNS) repeated that Iran had never gave anybody any guarantee concerning the suspension of enriching uranium.
“We suspended enriching activities unilaterally and voluntarily and agreed to sign the Additional Protocol (to the NPT) in order to help confidence building”, he went on, adding that “confidence building does not mean giving in”.
However, he warned that in case Iran’s dossier at the IAEA’s Board of Directors goes to the UN’s Security Council, the G-8, namely the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan, Italy, France, Germany and Britain would pay a “great price”.
On Friday, Michel Barnier, France’s Foreign Affairs Minister had warned Iran that if it continues not heeding IAEA’s demands, the European trio could not stop opposing Washington that presses for harsher measures against the Islamic Republic.
Hours later, Mr. Joschka Fischer, the German Foreign Affairs Minister told his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi in New York that Tehran would make a “grave mistake” if it thought that IAEA and the Big 3 were not serious in their demands from Iran concerning its controversial nuclear activities.
Earlier in the week, Iran’s embattled President Mohammad Khatami had stated that Iran would continue its “path to acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes even if the result is the cutting off of international supervision".
Addressing a parade marking the beginning of "Sacred Defence Week" that marks the anniversary of the outbreak of war with Iraq in 1980, Mr. Khatami said "we have made our choice and it is now the turn of others to chose", a reference to the IAEA, which gave Iran until November to come clean on its nuclear intentions and ratify the Additional Protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty.
A clause in the Non Proliferation Treaty permits any country to withdraw on three months' notice. North Korea withdrew in 2001, allowing it to proceed with the separation of plutonium from spent uranium and presumably the development of a nuclear bomb.
In the interview, Mr. Moussavian also announced that all the Iran’s nuclear related sites, including the heavy water research reactor in Arak and UFC in Esfahan are working “with full power and without slightest problem”.
“Activities of Arak’s heavy water are not stopped. Esfahan’s UCF continue working with full capacity, passing successfully its first tests. Therefore, one can say for sure that our efforts and capabilities to master the full cycle of nuclear processing cycle have been conducted positively”, he added.
In an interview published Saturday by France’s leftist magazine “Marianne”, Mr. Moussavian called on the IAEA to install in Iran its sophisticated equipments that keeps uranium enriching at a constant 3.5 per cent level, a percentage enough for civilian use, including producing electricity, but not enough for making nuclear weapons.
But though Mr. Moussavian complained the trio’s “lenient respect” of its engagements with Iran and underlined that IAEA’s Board, in its resolutions on Iran “never mentioned the positive points contained in the reports of the Agency’s boss Mohammad ElBarade’i, Hojjatoleslam Ali Akbar Nateq Nouri, a former Speaker of the Majles who serves now as the Head of the leader’s intelligence service accused Britain, France and Germany of being “still more evil than the Great Satan of America”.
“While American opposes us overtly, Britain, France and Germany are afraid of being in our reach and therefore stabs us from behind”, he said on Saturday in Tehran.
As the wrangles between interested parties continues on Iran’s atomic projects, Tehran announced on Saturday that it had successfully tested a "strategic missile" and delivered it to its armed forces, state-run radio reported.
Iran’s nuclear related sites, including the heavy water research reactor in Arak and UFC in Esfahan are working “with full power and without slightest problem”.
Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani, who announced the news, did not say whether the missile was the new version of the Shahab-3 rocket, which already was capable of reaching Israel and U.S. forces stationed in the Middle East, or was a new missile and declined to give details about the missile for "security reasons," but said Iran was "ready to confront all regional and extra-regional threats".
"This strategic missile was successfully test fired during military exercises by the Revolutionary Guards and delivered to the armed forces", Shamkhani was quoted as saying. The exercises were held Sept. 12-18.
The announcement came four days after Israel said it was buying about 5,000 U.S.-made smart bombs, including 500 one-ton bunker-busters that can penetrate 2 metres-thick concrete walls.
The development of the Shahab, whose name means "shooting star" in Persian, has raised fears in Israel about possible attack by the Iranian government, which strongly opposes the Jewish state's existence. ENDS IRAN NUCLEAR 25904