Tue 8 Feb 2005
Iran Seeks to Resolve Problems with U.S.
Irans top nuclear negotiator said today that Tehran wanted to resolve decades of differences with the United States but warned that a US military strike would not be able to destroy Irans nuclear facilities.
We are not seeking tension with the United States, Hasan Rowhani told the state-run Iranian television. We are seeking to resolve our problems with America but its the Americans who dont want problems to be resolved.
Irans leaders have tried in recent days to ease increasing tensions with Washington amid a continuing war of words.
US President George W Bush last week accused Iran of being the worlds primary state sponsor of terror.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said last week a military strike against Iran was simply not on the agenda at this point, but Bush has not ruled out a military strike saying his administration wouldnt take any option off the table.
Washington believes Iran is secretly using its civilian nuclear programme to build a nuclear bomb. Iran has denied these allegations, saying its nuclear activities are geared solely towards generating electricity, not making bombs.
There is no problem in todays world that cant be resolved, Rowhani insisted.
Rowhani, who is the secretary of the powerful Supreme National Security Council, said a US military strike against Irans nuclear facilities would fail.
Irans nuclear technology is in the hands of its scientists and workshops throughout the country. All of them have the ability to produce centrifuges. Therefore, America will not be able to destroy our nuclear facilities and mines through a military strike, he warned in the television interview.
Israel has warned that it may consider a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear installations along the lines of its 1981 bombing of an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak near Baghdad but Iranian officials have said any potential attack would fail.
Irans nuclear facilities are spread throughout the country and partly built underground making it difficult for an air attack to succeed.
The broadcast reported that Iran had begun a new round of nuclear talks with the Europeans in Geneva yesterday, which some Iranian diplomats called perhaps the last round of talks.
Iran this week called on the Europeans to speed up the talks, reflecting frustration over the lack of progress over the Europeans insistence that Tehran turn its temporary suspension of nuclear activities into a permanent stop.
Iran suspended uranium enrichment and all related activities in November, hoping to build trust and avoid UN Security Council sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency has agreed to police the suspension.
Under an agreement reached with the European Union, Iran will continue suspension of its enrichment activities during negotiations with the Europeans about economic, political and technological aid. Iran has said it will decide within three months whether to continue its suspension, which is monitored by UN nuclear inspectors.
Rowhani said Iran will never scrap its nuclear programme and wont give up its rights under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty which allows Iran access to peaceful nuclear technology.
Talks cant continue for a long time. The Europeans have been told that the period of negotiations has to be within months and not years, he said in the television interview.
And the condition to continue the talks is progress. Therefore, if by the end of the (Iranian calendar) year (March 20), there is no progress in the talks, we will not be obliged to continue the talks, Rowhani said.
He also insisted that Iran now possesses the technology to control the whole nuclear fuel cycle from extracting uranium ore to enriching it.
We have the ability to extract uranium, process it into yellowcake and enrich it and produce fuel. We can claim that we control the nuclear fuel cycle, he said.
DoctorZIn is away for few days so I am pinging you to the IRANIAN DAILY THREAD. ;-)