Iran official says US incapable of going to war
TEHRAN (AFP) Oct 09, 2005
Washington is not in a position to go to war against Tehran and its pressure over the Islamic republic's disputed nuclear programme is nothing more than "intimidation", Iran's top nuclear negotiator said Sunday.
"There will not be a war ahead of us. The situation in America does not allow them to create new fronts," Ali Larijani was quoted as saying by the student news agency ISNA.
"War with Iran is hard for them, so they want to intimidate us into committing suicide," he added, referring to Western efforts to make Tehran abandon work on the sensitive nuclear fuel cycle.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is strictly peaceful and argues it has the right to carry out fuel cycle work as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
But the European Union and United States fear the clerical regime is using an atomic energy drive as a means to acquire the technology to make weapons.
"If they want to talk to us in a threatening tone, we'll resist," Larijani said, repeating his threat that Iran could cease applying the additional protocol of the NPT -- which gives greater powers of inspection to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Although he said "we will not leave the NPT", Larijani did complain that "the NPT was supposed to help us have nuclear energy but it hasn't done anything for us except create obstacles."
Talks between Iran and Britain, France and Germany broke down in August, when Iran slammed the door on such a deal and partially ended a freeze on fuel cycle work by resuming uranium conversion -- a precursor to potentially dual-use enrichment work.
In September, the IAEA's 35-nation board passed a resolution that found Iran to be in non-compliance with the NPT -- paving the way for the matter to be referred to the UN Security Council -- and urged Iran to return to a full freeze.
"There are certain articles in the resolution which can be implemented by Iran, and there are some which cannot," Larijani said, adding that Iran would "not go back on our decision" to resume conversion work.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.