Iran opposed to nuclear weapons: Ahmadinejad

18th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 July 2005, TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has assured Germany, one of the European Union Big Three involved in nuclear negotiations with Tehran, that his country is opposed to any sort of nuclear weapons, the ISNA news agency reported Saturday.

18 July 2005

TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has assured Germany, one of the European Union Big Three involved in nuclear negotiations with Tehran, that his country is opposed to any sort of nuclear weapons, the ISNA news agency reported Saturday.

In a letter to German President Horst Kohler thanking him for his congratulations following last month's presidential victory, Ahmadinejad wrote that Iran would give the utmost priority to the fight against terrorism and the desire for nuclear weapons to be dismantled.

In a June 26 letter, Kohler had said that Germany was prepared, together with its European partners to work towards better cooperation with Iran.

In response, Ahmadinejad wrote that Iran was a country with great potential for future economic cooperation. June's elections had demonstrated democracy in action and proved the people's desire to back the Islamic system, he said.

Meanwhile a former chief of Iran's state-run television IRIB was being tipped Monday to succeed Hassan Rowhani as the country's chief nuclear negotiator with the European Union.

The appearance of Ali Larijani alongside president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following a meeting with the visiting Iraqi premier prompted a flurry of speculation in Tehran media that Ahmadinejad may be preparing him for the top nuclear job.

News agency Fars - seen as being close to Ahmadinejad - led the rumour charge saying Larijani is likely to be appointed as the next secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).

The next SNSC head is widely expected to take charge of nuclear negotiations with the European Union trio of Britain, France and Germany, scheduled to resume within weeks.

Ahmadinejad, a conservative former Tehran mayor, was victorious in presidential elections last month. He is due to take the oath of office in August.

Larijani, 49, also contested the presidential polls but failed to reach the second round. The former IRIB president has a PhD in philosophy and is regarded as ultraconservative.

Rumours of a possible successor to Rowhani, appointed by current reformist President Mohammed Khatami, have been rife since Ahmadinejad's victory.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi on Monday moved to assuage fears that any replacement of Rowhani could escalate tensions over Iran's controversial nuclear programme, saying that even if there was a change in the nuclear delegation, there would be no change in policy.

Iran maintains it has a right to enrich uranium for power generation purposes. The international community led by the U.S. however opposes this on the basis that enriched uranium can have weapons applications.

Copyright DPA with Expatica

Subject: German news

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