Intl. community supports Iran’s nuclear program: Jalili
January 28, 2008
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili has been in Brussels meeting with European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, the official designated by major powers to hold talks with Iran over its nuclear program.Jalili took part in an interview with EuroNews.
The following is an excerpt of the interview:
Q: What do you think about this mistrust in the West vis-à-vis Iran’s nuclear capacity?”
A: “It’s quite clear today that these countries are just seeking to find some false pretext to take these measures against Iran. The same countries that once closely cooperated with the dictator in Iran, the former regime of the Shah, signed a nuclear agreement with that regime. And then that dictatorship was toppled by the Iranian people, and now they’ve started to impose sanctions against our country and our people.”
Q: “But Iran is not inspiring confidence in other countries, that are looking for stability.”
A: “We think and we believe that the international community is supporting Iran’s position with regard to its peaceful nuclear activities and programs. More than 120 countries in the non-aligned movement supported Iran’s position and its peaceful program and its rights within its nuclear energy program. Just two or three countries consider themselves to be the international community, they consider themselves to be the entire international community. Even the U.S. national intelligence report acknowledged that Iran is following a peaceful nuclear program in the country.”
Q: “Why do you think that it is important for Iran to go on with the enrichment of the nuclear capability of uranium?”
A: “That is not important to us, that is a part of our right, according to the NPT (the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty), we have certain obligations and certain rights, we should fulfill our obligations and at the same time we must be allowed our rights according to and within the framework of NPT. The question is, why do you think it is important to those countries, why do they want to deprive us of our rights?
Q: “A country with a small and reduced nuclear capability, civil nuclear capability, can import and enrich uranium from abroad, from Russia in the case of Iran. And it could also be less expensive. So, why do you need to have a national Iranian enrichment technique?”
A: “The most important reason is that we are going to have this technology as an indigenous technology, we are going to develop this technology indigenously in our country. According to our 20 year development program, we have to produce twenty thousand megawatts of nuclear electricity; we have to generate electricity through nuclear power plants. For that level of capacity we need to build at least twenty nuclear power plants in the next twenty years and for these twenty nuclear power plants we invest billions for each power plant. What are the guaranties that if we build those power plants we are going to be able to get fuel for these power plants from these countries, the countries that even refused to sell us passenger planes and aircraft spare parts? That is an important question. And you must know about the level of enrichment in our country. We have a number of centrifuges. How much fuel do you think we can produce with those centrifuges now? Even increasing the number of these centrifuges ten fold it is not going to provide fuel even for one nuclear power plant.
Q: “Do you think that the nuclear issue could be object of some kind of comprehensive talks with the United States on the situation in the Middle-East?”
A: “Yes, there is no problem with that, but the real problem is not about having talks or negotiations, the problem is the approach that we may have towards any talks in the future. When two sides are going to talk to each other, or to have negotiations, there is a question of how they are going to talk to each other, as two friends, two partners or two rivals, or two enemies.”
Q: “What about the change of attitude from Germany and France because they have changed their attitude in the last couple of years, don’t you think?”
A: “In proportion to their attitude, they will see the results and the outcomes of their policies. These countries might have changed their attitude in proportion to their policies, their companies and their economic agencies have also become less active in our country, so they are now witnessing the outcome of their policies.