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Sunday, January 13, 2008
Islamic law prohibits production of nuclear arms: Leader
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN - Iran’s religious leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has stated that the Islamic Republic has repeatedly said that Iran opposes the production and use of nuclear weapons in principle from an Islamic point of view.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly announced that in principle, based on sharia (Islamic law), it is opposed to the production and use of nuclear weapons,” the Supreme Leader told IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei on Saturday.
The Leader insisted that it is essential that the International Atomic Energy Agency remains an independent body.
“In regard to the current positive international atmosphere surrounding Iran’s nuclear activities, a speedy resolution of this issue will be considered an important test and a great success for the International Atomic Energy Agency,” Ayatollah Khamenei underlined.
Referring to Iran’s principled stance to fully observe international treaties, the Leader stated, “According to this principle, the Islamic Republic of Iran has fulfilled its commitments to the NPT.”
The Leader said the arrogant powers are not happy about the independence of the UN nuclear watchdog. “Their anger over the agency’s position that no diversion has been found in Iran’s nuclear activities is a strong indication of this,” he noted.
There is no justification for Iran’s nuclear dossier to remain on the agenda of the UN Security Council, he added.
The Supreme Leader expressed hope that the remaining issues over the country’s nuclear program would be resolved as soon as possible.
ElBaradei said the Islamic Republic is an important partner of the IAEA, adding that in recent months there has been good cooperation between Iran and the agency with the goal of clearing up all the ambiguities.
“Iran has the right to use nuclear energy for developing the country,” he asserted.
ElBaradei said negotiation is the only solution to the nuclear issue and voiced hope that Iran’s nuclear dossier would be returned to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The UN nuclear watchdog chief arrived in Tehran on Friday for talks over Iran’s nuclear program in line with a modality plan agreed by both sides in August last year.
In a press conference with Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Director Gholamreza Aqazadeh on Friday, ElBaradei lauded the growing cooperation between the Islamic Republic and the IAEA, saying, “The positive atmosphere created through talks between Iran and the agency has had a very positive effect on the entire Middle East.”
Iran regards IAEA as only partner in nuclear issue
President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday that Iran regards the IAEA as the only body authorized to investigate the country’s nuclear activities.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran recognizes the agency as the only negotiating partner in the nuclear issue,” Ahmadinejad told ElBaradei in a separate meeting.
The president expressed hope that the major powers’ pressure would not cause the UN nuclear watchdog to shirk its duty to carry out its mandate in a manner based on justice.
“Some countries imagine that the (International) Atomic Energy Agency has been established to pursue their policies, and this conception is not fair.”
“Nuclear energy is a divine gift and within the next 20 to 30 years, (all) countries’ demand for this energy will multiply. All countries should be provided with legal opportunities to utilize this clean energy,” the president stated.
“The view propagated by the arrogant powers that nuclear energy means an atomic bomb” should be abandoned, Ahmadinejad added.
ElBaradei said that Iran’s nuclear program is moving in the right direction.
He called for further expansion of cooperation between Iran and the IAEA to clear up the remaining differences over Tehran’s nuclear activities