Iran accuses EU of breaching nuclear deal
7 March 2005, TEHERAN - Iran has accused the European Union of having breached nuclear agreements inked with Teheran. European leaders promised us international acknowledgement of our right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology; we trusted them on this, and in return suspended our activities," former President Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said. "But after three months, not much has happened," said Rafsanjani, who is widely predicted by local observers to succeed President Mohammad Khatami after the 17 June ele
7 March 2005
TEHERAN - Iran has accused the European Union of having breached nuclear agreements inked with Teheran.
European leaders promised us international acknowledgement of our right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology; we trusted them on this, and in return suspended our activities," former President Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said.
"But after three months, not much has happened," said Rafsanjani, who is widely predicted by local observers to succeed President Mohammad Khatami after the 17 June elections.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of a conference in Teheran on nuclear technology and sustainable development, Rafsanjani termed sustainable development in the Third World - including the right to pursue modern technologies - as the main basis for peace and stability in the world.
"The consequences of non-development would soon reach the First World as well, because everybody asks why the First World should have environmental-friendly energy resources and the others not," Rafsanjani said.
He further rejected Western arguments that Iran did not need nuclear energy owing to its huge oil and gas reserves.
Iran, he said, had even more oil and gas reserves 30 years ago, but at that time the Germans still started the nuclear power plant in the southern Persian Gulf port of Bushehr.
"This means that if there is a US-friendly shah in the country, then Iran should have nuclear facilities, but with an imam (Ruhollah Khomeini) Iran should not," Rafsanjani said referring to the 1991 withdrawal of Siemens from the plant which the German company had started in 1974.
Rafsanjani called on the EU to revise its stance and present new initiatives before the Iranian deadline in mid-March for encouraging Teheran to continue the talks. He did not specify what kind of initiatives Teheran expected.
At the same conference, the head of the foreign policy commission of the Iranian parliament warned the EU not to follow the same double-standard policies of the United States".
In that case, the parliament would decisively stand against such policies at whatever price required," Alaeddin Borujerdi, a conservative and opponent to the nuclear talks, said in harsh speech to the conference.
Earlier Sunday Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi had warned the EU of "miscalculations" in ongoing talks about the country's nuclear policies.
"The EU should not make any miscalculations and drop the idea that with prolonging the talks, Iran would forget its main aim," Assefi told reporters in Teheran.
"If the Europeans cannot fulfil their commitments, they should just say so. What is the meaning of any objective guarantees by Iran if the demand is halting uranium enrichment?" the spokesman added.
Iran says that according to the agreements reached in Teheran (2003) and Paris (2004), Teheran is obliged to suspend uranium enrichment on a temporary basis until objective guarantees are provided on the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme.
Teheran therefore considers the current EU demand for cessation of the enrichment process as a breach of the agreements.
"We are not after bluffing or increasing our demands, we are only after a pragmatic solution," Assefi said.
"But if the Europeans want otherwise, then we will revise our stance on the additional protocol and suspension of enrichment."
Irans chief nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani said that a failure in the nuclear talks would lead to a regional crisis even affecting the oil market. He did not elaborate on what sort of "crisis".
Assefi meanwhile said Teheran did not consider membership in the World Trade Organization as a favour granted by Europe or the U.S. in return for Iranian concessions over its nuclear programme.
"We know quite well the difference between favour and legitimate rights, and getting into the WTO is the right of every country and should not be considered an advantage granted to Iran," Assefi said.
He was replying to a question on whether advantages such as WTO membership would encourage Iran to accept concessions over delaying uranium enrichment process.
"The US is blocking Irans WTO membership illegally, and to hinder the development of an independent country like Iran," Assefi said.
Chief nuclear negotiator Rowhani had said Saturday that WTO membership or the delivery of Airbus airliners would be "just a minor part" of a deal with E.U. trio Britain, France and Germany.
Subject: German news