TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki slammed calls by the US and its western allies for Iran to give up its nuclear rights, enshrined in Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“The main reason (behind West’s pressures on Iran) lies in that these developed countries do not want the developing countries to develop scientific capacity. This is another form of apartheid. It is scientific apartheid,” Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters in Kampala, Uganda.
Iran is under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West’s illegitimate calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment, saying the demand is politically tainted and illogical.
The United States and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
Tehran stresses that as a signatory to the NPT, it has the right to master the complete nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes. Iran says the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.
Mottaki, who is in Uganda for a ministerial meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), said that the US lacked the moral authority to preach at Iran about the dangers of nuclear development.
“America is not in a position to be happy or unhappy with our peaceful nuclear activities. It is a country that is currently testing a fifth-generation nuclear bomb,” he said.
“The United States should limit itself to its borders and stop interfering with other nations. The time for ordering other nations is over. We will continue to realize our rights definitely,” Mottaki, who was flanked by the Iranian ambassador to Uganda, reiterated.
After Iran answered outstanding questions of the International Atomic Energy Agency about the history of its past nuclear activities, Tehran said that it will only negotiate with the UN nuclear watchdog from then on. The Islamic Republic has also repeatedly stressed that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of IAEA’s questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities.
Yet, the United States has remained at loggerheads with Iran over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran’s nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries. 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 contradicts the 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 seem to be completely irrational.
“America is the first country that used nuclear weapons to kill people in Japan. Is such a country in a position to instruct other nations to use nuclear weapons or not?” Mottaki asked.
He said Iran would continue with its nuclear program, which is estimated to produce 25,000 megawatts of power.
Iran has always insisted that 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 Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.
The minister argued that the OIC was created to drum support for the peoples of Palestine against the Israeli Zionists, adding, “This is the reason why the issue of Palestine is a permanent feature on the agenda of the OIC.”
“The Islamic countries and the African countries should cooperate to have this and other issues resolved,” he stressed.
Meantime, Mottaki noted that Iran was ready to negotiate over a new package of economic incentives put forward by major powers seeking to persuade Tehran to curb its nuclear work.
The Iranian top diplomat said that the six powers should also take a serious look at Tehran’s own proposals.
The six main powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – agreed weeks ago on a so-called updated offer of incentives for Iran based on the 2006 version, which is aimed to encourage Iran to give up its NPT right of uranium enrichment.
Despite repeated statements by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and other western leaders that the new offer comprises improved aids to Tehran, western diplomats said that it contained no new major enticement compared with the previous package.
Iran has also presented West with a package of proposals of its own, which has yet remained unanswered by the other side.
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili has said that Tehran has included the long-term interests of all the relevant sides in its package of proposals presented to the world powers.