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posted on 12/19/2003 12:05:08 AM PST
(Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
Iran's Rafsanjani Says Nuclear Deal Foils U.S. Plot
December 19, 2003
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Friday by signing up to U.N. snap nuclear checks of its nuclear facilities, Iran showed its atomic ambitions were entirely peaceful.
"They (the U.S.) wanted to accuse Iran of having nuclear weapons, but this has foiled their plots," the influential ex-president told worshippers at Friday prayers in Tehran, broadcast live on state radio.
The United States has said Iran's nuclear program is a smokescreen for a building atomic weapons.
Rafsanjani said Iran, which has always said its nuclear scientists are working on ways to meet booming electricity demand, now expected technical assistance with its atomic program.
On Thursday, Iran signed an agreement at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna allowing the U.N. nuclear watchdog to conduct snap inspections across its territory.
The signature to the Additional Protocol to the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) comes nearly 18 months after an exiled Iranian opposition group sparked an international crisis by saying Tehran was hiding several large nuclear facilities. The allegations proved to be true.
Rafsanjani cautioned that full approval for the signature would take time. It must be sent to parliament as a bill then approved by the Guardian Council.
Analysts say Iran's reformist government would never have embarked on the deal without the green light from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who has the last word on all state matters.
Rafsanjani heads the powerful Expediency Council that arbitrates between the predominantly reformist parliament and the 12-member hardline supervisory body, the Guardian Coucil. http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=4022307
posted on 12/19/2003 7:16:52 AM PST
by F14 Pilot
(A wise man changes his mind, a fool never does.)
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