TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Iran’s nuclear issue can only be solved through dialogue and peaceful means, warning against a catastrophe if Iran was attacked.
“Nobody in the world can bear the consequences of any non-peaceful solution because it would result in a disaster,” Assad warned during a joint press conference with the visiting French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, in Damascus on Wednesday.
“It is clear that there is a lack of confidence between Iran and the parties involved in this issue,” said Assad, adding that “the main point that concerns us is how Syria could play a role in building this confidence.”
For his part, French President Nicolas Sarkozy called on Syria to play a role in solving Iran’s nuclear dispute with the West.
“Syria can play a role in Iran’s nuclear issue. Iran must not obtain nuclear weapons, … but it has the right of peaceful use of the nuclear energy,” Sarkozy said.
“There is a relationship of trust between Syria and Iran … It is my duty to explain to President Assad the danger of the current situation and we should take all initiatives to achieve peace,” said Sarkozy.
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 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 has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, saying that renouncing its rights under the NPT would encourage world powers to put further pressure on the country and would not lead to a change in the West’s hardline stance on Tehran.
Iran insists that it should 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.
Observers believe that the US is at loggerheads with Iran mainly due to 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.
Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran lost steam due to the growing international vigilance.
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.
Many world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure against Iran unjustified, especially in the wake of recent IAEA reports, stressing that Tehran’s case should be normalized and returned to the UN nuclear watchdog due to the Islamic Republic’s increased cooperation with the agency.