US Fears Islamic Nations’ Progress

A00905682.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- The US opposition to Iran’s peaceful nuclear program stems from the fact that it is afraid of Muslims’ progress and well-being, deputy foreign minister Ali Reza Sheikh Attar said.

The foreign ministry official made the remarks in an interview with Alalam satellite TV network on Sunday, adding that the US is not opposed to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program because of the non-proliferation fears, rather it is opposed to the reality that an Islamic country has managed to achieve the nuclear know-how by relying on its domestic potentials.

Sheikh Attar said the West does not fear nuclear weapons because the Western countries do have various lethal types of these weapons.

“The Western states are trying to deprive Iran of its right as a member of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to have nuclear fuel cycle, because they fear that the Islamic Republic’s nuclear achievements could motivate other Islamic countries to further their scientific efforts”, he said.

The official said the west has adopted the policy of “carrot and sticks” towards Iran by proposing incentives package.

“But Iran knows that they want to kill the time by taking such steps, and that’s why the Islamic Republic decided to discuss the issue with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) without stepping back from its legitimate rights to have the technology,” Sheikh Attar said.

On Iran’s proposed package which has been delivered to the so-called 5+1 group of countries, Sheikh Attar said, “The Islamic Republic’s package of proposals to the 5+1 group involves a series of solutions to the world problems and it has a new message to the world”.

The deputy foreign minister said the package calls for “justice, stability in the world and international responsibility towards the Middle East region”.

“It is not logical for Iran to be threatened and be accused of disrupting security in the Middle East while a foreign country comes and imposes its hegemony over the whole region,” he said.

He said that the regional countries will not accept any kind of interference by aliens, “for it will lead to the insecurity in the region”.

Regarding the security agreement brokered between the US and the Iraqi government, the Iranian official said, “Washington is trying to legitimize its presence in Iraq by making such agreements with the Iraqi officials; this will certainly open ways for more crimes in the country”.

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.

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 insisted 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 illegitimate calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment, saying the demand is politically tainted and illogical.

Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, and says it will only negotiate with the UN nuclear watchdog.

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.

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 wants to enrich uranium merely for civilian purposes, including generation of electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.

Iran has also 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.

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 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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