Iran Rejects Sarkozy’s Claim on Missile Threats

A04080631.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) – Iran on Sunday rejected French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s comments on the necessity to build a strong deterrent against what he called as new security threats posed by Islamic states.

Speaking on Friday at the launch of the fourth of France’s latest generation of nuclear-armed submarines, Sarkozy said Iran was “increasing the range of its missiles while serious suspicions weigh on its nuclear program”.

But Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini insisted Iran was a source of peace and stability in the Middle East.

“Iran has upgraded its capabilities (and) drawing a parallel between these achievements and possible threats against other countries is inappropriate and invalid,” Hosseini said.

Tehran has always stressed the defensive nature of its missile program, reiterating that it may never initiate a war with any country.

While it has never presented any corroborative evidence to prove its allegations against Tehran, West has accused Iran of trying to acquire nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian program. Iran vehemently denies the charges, saying it only wants to generate electricity to meet the country’s booming demand.

Under the United States’ heavy and continued pressures, the UN Security Council has imposed three sanctions resolutions against Iran following Tehran’s failure to give up its NPT right of uranium enrichment.

Hosseini said Iran posed no threat to any country.

“Iran’s foreign policy is in line with international regulations and laws,” he said.

The US is at loggerheads with Iran over Tehran’s independent and home-grown 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.

Washington’s push for additional UN penalties contradicted the recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head – one in November and the other one in February – which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seemed to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran’s cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran’s nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

Tehran says it never worked on atomic weapons and wants to enrich uranium merely for civilian purposes, including generation of electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.

Iran has insisted it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhovin as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.

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 last month has called on his Arab allies to unite against Iran.

But hosting officials of the regional nations dismissed Bush’s allegations, describing Tehran as a good friend of their countries.

Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran has lost steam due to the growing international vigilance, specially following the latest IAEA and US intelligence reports.

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