Saturday, September 17, 2005

Iran rejects threats over its nuclear industry

Iran is holding steadfast in its 'right' to continue its nuclear policy. "We are not going to give in to the demands made by others" said Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the recently elected Iranian President, during a question and answer session at the U.N in which he had earlier set out his resolve to continue the country's "peaceful nuclear energy industry." This was despite threats from the United States, India and others. He also dismissed threats of sanctions and the taking of the matter to the Security Council. Speaking to CNN in an exclusive interview he said, "We are determined to continue our nuclear energy policy," but, he said, "We are against nuclear weapons, and our religious laws prohibit making such weapons of mass destruction." Should sanctions be imposed, Ahmadinejad said that Iran could survive such actions adding that, "We are able to defend ourselves."
US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice was dismissive of Iran's innocence. "Countries like Iran threaten the effectiveness of the global non-proliferation regime, when diplomacy has been exhausted the UN Security Council must become involved" she said, ahead of the Iranian President's speech.
Kofi Annan, the U.N President, was more cautious, "We face growing risk of proliferation and catastrophic terrorism and the stakes are too high to continue down a dangerous path of diplomatic brinkmanship. Let us instead work together to strengthen all three pillars of the regime; non-proliferation and disarmament, and peaceful uses."
[21:35 GMT 17/09/2005]

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