Iran Stresses Continued Progress in N. Technology

A03485151.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said sanctions against the Islamic Republic will not impede the country’s nuclear progress.

“Iran is not afraid of sanctions,” President Ahmadinejad told reporters in Turkey on Friday, adding that sanctions lack a legal “basis”.

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 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.

Iran is under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West’s calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment, saying the demand is politically tainted and illogical.

The UN nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran’s uranium enrichment program does not exceed 3 percent and is therefore within the limits of the NPT.

Western powers, however, continue to accuse the Islamic Republic of pursuing a military nuclear program and under such pretext have threatened the country with a new round of UNSC sanctions.

“Iran’s nuclear issue has been highly politicized because the US and its allies do not want the Islamic Republic, Turkey and other regional states to obtain nuclear technology,” President Ahmadinejad continued according to press tv.

The Iranian president said the country’s achievements in nuclear technology, nanotechnology and biotechnology were the result of the nation’s self-reliance.

“Perhaps Iran would not have achieved this level of progress in the absence of US-imposed sanctions,” he concluded.

Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives.

Tehran insists that it will 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.

Iran has repeatedly said that it considers its nuclear case closed after it answered the UN agency’s questions about the history of its nuclear program.

The US is 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 contradicted 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 or launch military action against Iran seems 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.

Not only Iranian officials, 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 finished a tour of the Middle East in winter to gain the consensus of 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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