Iranian students vow to fight for nuclear right

16th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

ISFAHAN/TEHRAN - More than 1,000 Iranian students on Tuesday formed a human chain around the uranium conversion plant in Isfahan in central Iran and vowed to fight "until the end" to maintain Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

ISFAHAN/TEHRAN - More than 1,000 Iranian students on Tuesday formed a human chain around the uranium conversion plant in Isfahan in central Iran and vowed to fight "until the end" to maintain Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

The student group, which included many women and clerics, vowed to resist any foreign pressure, including military strikes by the United States, and fight for Iran's right to pursue peaceful nuclear technology.

The students condemned the resolution by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to close down the Isfahan plant as illegal and politically motivated.

They shouted death slogans against the U.S., Israel and the European Union trio of Britain, France and Germany whom they accused of "depriving" Iran of nuclear technology.

In the final communique, the students said that "both the government and the people of Iran are standing before a historic test for defending their independence and avoiding humiliating discrimination by the West".

The students condemned the IAEA as "a guardian of U.S. interests" and stressed that the only way to confront Western plots was "resistance and insistence on revolutionary goals and values".

Iranian officials have so far rejected last Thursday's IAEA resolution to close down the Isfahan plant again.

Hardliners in the parliament even urged the government to also re- open within a month the neighbouring Natanz plant where the converted uranium from Isfahan can be enriched.

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani called for diplomatic channels to be pursued before resuming enrichment activities in Natanz.

He told the Tehran daily Sharq on Tuesday that although Iran would not accept the IAEA resolution on closing down the Isfahan plant and proceed with the conversion process, work at the Natanz plant needed negotiations with the E.U. first.

Larijani however stressed, in line with other Iranian officials, that the country must have its own nuclear fuel cycle and that the Europeans must understand and respect this legal demand by Iran.

In the Isfahan facility, yellowcake, or uranium ore, is converted into uranium hexafluoride gas and stored inside the plant until a political agreement is reached to feed the gas into centrifuges for uranium enrichment in the Natanz plant.

The process is used, according to Iran, to produce fuel for local nuclear plants, but the same process, at a higher enrichment grade, could also be used for making atomic bombs.

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Assefi said the latest reports that contamination and traces of bomb-grade uranium found in Iranian plants are most probably from the country of origin (Pakistan).

This proves Iran's consistent claims that its nuclear programmes are peaceful, Assefi said.

The spokesman said Iran will not accept the IAEA resolution and will for the time being wait for the September 3 report by IAEA chief Mohammad ElBaradei to the agency's board of governors.

Assefi reiterated that there was no legal justification for taking the Iran case to the U.N. Security Council as the Islamic state has only realized its legal right within the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and IAEA additional protocol.

The spokesman hoped that the IAEA would act next month within its own technical criteria and not bow to political pressure.

The ISNA news agency further reported Tuesday that Iran told the IAEA it would not resume uranium enrichment but also not stop the conversion process in the Isfahan plant.

Ali Aqamohammadi, the spokesman of the nuclear delegation team in Iran's National Security Council, told ISNA that upon this framework, Iran would also be ready to continue talks with the European Union trio of Britain, France and Germany.

He added that, despite the E.U. trio's opposition to military options against Iran over the dispute, all three states insist on bringing the Iran case before the United Nations Security Council should Tehran did not close down the Isfahan plant.

DPA

Subject: German news

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