Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated yesterday that
Teheran has achieved full proficiency in the nuclear fuel cycle and
warned the West that dialogue and friendship - not threats - were
the right way to deal with Iran.
"Today, Iran is a nuclear Iran," Ahmadinejad told a press
conference in Teheran. "That means it fully possesses the whole
nuclear fuel cycle."
Ahmadinejad, however, said his country was committed to a
"peaceful path" in pursuing its controversial nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad's comments followed an announcement on Monday by the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which said that Teheran
was offering some cooperation in the agency's probe of an alleged
secret uranium processing project linked by US intelligence to a
nuclear arms program.
The IAEA has said that Teheran also outlined its timetable for
providing other sensitive information sought by the Vienna,
Austria-based UN watchdog in its investigation of over two decades
of nuclear activity by the Islamic republic, most of it clandestine
until revealed more than four years ago.
The document reiterated Iran's allegations that the search for
information on the so-called "Green Salt Project" was "politically
motivated" and founded on "baseless allegations."
But as a "sign of good will and cooperation with the agency...
Iran will review" documentation on the project provided by the
agency "and inform the agency of its assessment," according to the
The US criticized the deal with the IAEA, saying the agreement
won't save Iran from a third set of UN Security Council sanctions
for refusing to halt uranium enrichment.
Some in the IAEA have suggested Washington may be trying to
derail important progress in the Iranian nuclear negotiations, in a
drive to impose new UN penalties.
At the press conference, Ahmadinejad said the US president was a
"wicked, selfish and arrogant" leader who has abused the UN
Security Council in a push to stop Iran's nuclear program.
Although the Iranian leader did not name George W. Bush, his
remarks were clearly addressed to his US counterpart.
"You saw that your coercion... was futile," Ahmdinejad said.
"Some wicked and selfish leaders stood arrogantly behind the podium
to say, 'we won't let them do this' ... You sold out your prestige
and stood against a cultured nation... I recommend that you don't
repeat this ugly behavior."
The US and its allies fear Teheran is using its civilian nuclear
program as a cover to produce atomic weapons. Iran denies the
charge, saying its program is solely geared toward generating
Uranium conversion is the chemical process that changes raw
uranium into the gas fed into centrifuges and spun repeatedly to
separate out isotopes. Low enriched uranium can be used to make
energy - which Iran insists is its only goal. But highly enriched
uranium is used to make nuclear weapons.
(China Daily via agencies August 29, 2007)