TEHRAN (FNA) Iran voiced optimism yesterday that the standoff with the West over its nuclear program would soon be resolved “once and for all”.
“We think the conditions and circumstances are quite favorable and we are getting ready to solve the (nuclear) issue once and for all,” Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri said according to Gulf Daily News.
The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, Mohammed ElBaradei, “showed that some of the problems related to the nuclear issue have been solved,” he added.
“His trip to Tehran leads us to think we will solve the issue very soon.” Bagheri was speaking on the sidelines of the Alliance of Civilizations Forum, a UN-sponsored initiative.
He also cited a US National Intelligence Estimate last month, which concluded that Tehran is pursuing a peaceful nuclear program, as further evidence that a solution was in sight.
Referring to the US government’s absence from the conference, Bagheri said, “The Alliance of Civilizations is an open dialogue. It’s a reasonable, rational logical dialogue to create more well-being.”
“Mr. Bush does not understand the reasoning behind this or the language of logic. He speaks constantly about war.”
US is at odds with Iran over Tehran’s independent and self-grown progress in the nuclear technology. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.
According to the NPT, Iran is as a signatory entitled to pursue civilian nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment.
Foreign ministers from the permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as Germany are expected to meet in Berlin next Tuesday to iron out differences over new sanctions with most objections coming from Russia and China.
Iran is under two sets of UN Security Council sanctions for its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment even after the peaceful nature of its nuclear programs and activities was proved.
Washington is pushing for additional UN penalties despite a recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and a similar report by the IAEA head in November which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities, Russia and China increased resistance to any further punitive measures by the Security Council.
Tehran says it never worked on atomic weapons and wants to enrich uranium only to produce fuel for reactors that would generate electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.
Not only many Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but also many other world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure unjustified, especially in the wake of recent IAEA reports saying Iran had increased cooperation with the agency.
US President George W. Bush, who finished a tour of the Middle East on Wednesday, has called on his Arab allies to unite against Iran, saying that Tehran’s role in “fomenting violence” in Iraq has been exposed.
But hosting officials dismissed Bush’s allegations, describing Tehran as a good friend of their countries.
Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran’s nuclear program has lost steam due to the US intelligence report.