Sunday, April 1, 2012

Soltanieh: Iran determined to continue nuclear energy program

Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh

Source: Press TV

Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iran is not after acquiring military atomic technology but resolute to continue with its nuclear energy program.

The Islamic Republic “has not been pursuing a nuclear weapon” Ali Asghar Soltanieh said in a recent interview with Fox News television channel.

We “will never, ever suspend our activities, including [uranium] enrichment,” he added.

Pointing to the “politicized” debate on the Parchin site, Soltanieh stressed that while Tehran is willing to cooperate with the IAEA on its nuclear energy program, it will not accede to any demand to visit its military facilities.

“We cannot permit each time any country wants to knock at the door and wants to go to our military sites,” he said.

The Iranian envoy to the UN nuclear body went on to say that Western sanctions against Iran over its nuclear activities have been ineffective.

“Sanctions have had no effect,” he pointed out, adding, “We are more determined to pursue our nuclear activities.”

Soltanieh also downplayed threats of a military attack against Iranian nuclear sites and reiterated that Tehran would give “a strong response with an iron fist” to any such venture.

“Nobody would dare attack Iran,” he said.

The US and the EU say Iran is seeking military objectives in its nuclear energy program and have used the allegation as a pretext to impose sanctions against Tehran, while the Israeli regime has publicly engaged in making threats of military strikes against Iran.

The US government has also made repeated threats of keeping its military “options on the table” against Tehran.

Iran, however, refutes the Western allegations about its nuclear energy program and argues that as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence indicating that Tehran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.

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