Rafsanjani: Suspension of nuclear activities unacceptable
Iran-UN, Politics, 10/16/2007
Iran's Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said today that the suspension of peaceful nuclear activities by Iran is an unacceptable condition for nuclear talks.
Rafsanjani made the remark in a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Tehran Liu Zhentang, adding that the Islamic Revolution and independence-seeking nation of Iran are opposed to giving in to hegemony.
He added that Iran is ready to build confidence and resolve outstanding issues concerning its peaceful nuclear program based on international regulations. Rafsanjani, also head of Assembly of Experts, said that given close relations between Iran and China and their close stance, Iran expects China to support its indisputable nuclear rights.
Rafsanjani referred to China as a successful country in terms of economic, technical and trade development, noting that China has acquired appropriate status in today's world, and that Iran will try to maintain its high level relations with China.
Liu Zhentang, for his part, reaffirmed Iran's right to make use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, underlining the need for resolving the current dispute via diplomatic channels. He noted that the world should put moderation and peace-seeking atop its agenda.
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russia's President Vladimir Putin failed to bridge their differences on Iran's nuclear program. While in Germany, Putin met the German leader who had tried its utmost to provide a positive outlook on German-Russian ties, calling for "close" bilateral cooperation, while the Russian president had no qualms to speak against some of Merkel's viewpoints on some of the world's crisis hotspots.
Reacting to Merkel's tough talk in Monday's German press on tightening Iran sanctions, Putin made clear that creating "fear and intimidation within Iran's leadership and the Iranian nation" was nothing more but a "futile" attempt by the West.
"To intimidate someone or to create fear within Iran's leadership and the Iranian nation is absolutely futile. Believe me, they (Iranians) have no fear," said Putin during a joint press briefing with Merkel.
The Russian leader urged "patience" for a diplomatic and peaceful settlement of the Iranian nuclear row. He stressed that such a resolution of Iran's nuclear conflict can be achieved through "dialogue with Iranian leadership and the Iranian nation."
Berlin has repeatedly threatened to impose additional sanctions, if Tehran does not halt its uranium enrichment program.
The US Department Of State deputy spokesman Tom Casey said today when asked by reporters about "Putin in Iran where essentially one of the comments he made was that we should reject the whole idea of the use of force in the region. He's sort of implying Iran and don't even mention the idea of force as a possibility, sort of in a veiled, you know, reference to the U.S. How would you respond to that?" that "you can ask him what he was referring to or who he was referring to .. but again, I think the President's made clear and US policy's been consistent that we're pursuing a diplomatic path, with respect to Iran. We're working with our Security Council members in New York and elsewhere to try and come up with a text of a new resolution that will ratchet up sanctions on Iran. We have, of course, engaged in our own bilateral measures to deal with the threat posed there. The European Union and other individual members of that organization have taken some steps to, again, increase pressure on Iran."
Casey added "and let's remember what the goal here is, too. The goal here is to change Iranian behavior, to have them come to the negotiating table and engage with the United States as well as with the other members of the P-5+1 to resolve this issue. And the Iranian Government and the Iranian people can achieve everything that President Ahmadi-Nejad has stated as his objectives for this program, which is a peaceful civilian nuclear energy program, one that allows the Iranian people to have nuclear power but that also provides all of us in the international community with the assurance that Iran is not using that civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop a nuclear weapon. And I think it's pretty clear from the repeated unanimous votes of the Security Council that have included Russia that this is an issue that is of grave concern to people, and it's unfortunate that the Iranian Government has repeatedly chosen to deny the requirements of it under international law and to move forward with this path of defiance. We would very much like to have the opportunity to have Iran comply with these resolutions, halt their uranium enrichment programs, and then sit down with us and others and negotiate a reasonable resolution of this issue. It's surprising in many ways that if Iran really wanted to have a better relationship, if President Ahmadi-Nejad really wanted to have a better relationship with the international community, this is a tremendous opportunity that the P-5+1 has put on the table for him, and it's kind of hard to fathom if your goal really is simply to have a civilian peaceful nuclear program, why that offer has not been accepted to date."
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday that Washington tries to create a wall of mistrust among countries located in the region. Mohammad-Ali Hosseini commented on the US attitude toward Iran on the threshold of the imminent visit to Iran of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Iran-Russia bilateral cooperation is based on international rules and regulations, he noted.
On Iran-IAEA technical talks on centrifuges, Hosseini said the technical talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials on the centrifuges will begin in the next few days. He said the talks will be probably held in Tehran.
On recent remarks made by the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice against Iran, Hosseini said making such remarks by US officials is not a new phenomenon.
Hosseini added that any plan implying Iran's right to enrichment will be taken into consideration by Iran.
On Swiss proposal regarding Iran's nuclear case, he said Tehran has held continuous talks with the Swiss side and the plan has been taken into consideration by Iran.
Talking to reporters, he made the remarks on Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel's Friday remarks on the Swiss proposal. On certain European states' request for enrichment suspension, he stressed that no change has been made in Iran's stands regarding the enrichment issue.
"Tehran's stand is against suspension and is for continuation of peaceful activities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," he reiterated. "If the objective of the US and certain European states, by issuing anti-Iran resolutions, is to deprive Iran of its rights, it will not be materialized," Hosseini stated.
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