THE Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, made it very clear last Wednesday what Iran’s position is on its right to develop and use nuclear power.
He said: ‘Give us nuclear fuel or we will produce it.’
Rafsanjani made clear that ‘Tehran will continue its nuclear enrichment programme if the West does not provide the Islamic Republic with nuclear fuel’.
He added that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is responsible for providing the necessary enriched uranium for the Tehran Research Reactor. ‘If the US and the West go on with the same policy toward Iran, Tehran will continue its peaceful enrichment programme within the legal frameworks.
‘The West and the US are well aware that the Islamic Republic of Iran has no interest in developing nuclear weapons and records of Iran’s behaviour prove that,’ Rafsanjani said in a meeting with the Swedish Ambassador to Iran, Magnus Werndstedt.
He continued: ‘Any fair-minded country, including Iran which is aware of the mass killing and destruction caused by the US nuclear attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima will hate nuclear weapons.’
He noted that ‘before the Islamic Revolution, the West and the US volunteered to build nuclear plants in Iran and this was because of the Shah regime’s obedience to them’.
Rafsanjani concluded: ‘The US and the West try to control Iran because of its huge energy resources and geographical location, but the Iranian nation which has an old civilisation and religious beliefs will not accept dependence and being subordinated again.’
Meanwhile, the representatives of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: Britain, France, China, the United States and Russia plus Germany, met in Brussels Friday to discuss Iran’s latest stand on its nuclear programme.
The head of the UN’s IAEA nuclear watchdog, ElBaradei, said: ‘The ball is very much in the Iranian court.’
The talks come two days after Iranian Foreign Minister Manochehr Mottaki made clear that his country will not send its uranium abroad for further enrichment and will only consider a uranium-for-fuel swap inside Iran.
U.S. President Barack Obama has already said that his administration has begun talks with its international ‘partners’ on the consequences of Iran’s failure to respond to the proposed agreement.
These consequences vary from the imposition of stringent economic sanctions, to an Israeli-led military strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities.
ElBaradei said yesterday of this economic and military threat: ‘I would hate to see that we are moving back to sanctions. Sanctions at the end of the day, in most cases, hurt the vulnerable and the innocent. It really doesn’t resolve issues.
‘It would lead to more confrontation, it would lead Iran to make possibly more provocative actions. We should do everything possible to avoid that.’
He said that previous sanctions, such as on Iraq before the US-led invasion in 2003, had been ‘horrible’.
El Baradei knows that the sanctions imposed by the UN led to war, and that increasing sanctions on Iran will literally be a start of a countdown to imperialist war.
The issue is plain. The US was willing to provide nuclear power stations to the former dictator, the Shah of Iran, and it has allowed both Israel and Pakistan to develop hundreds of nuclear weapons and the means of delivery.
The US is the only state that has used nuclear weapons, with the support of the UK.
Iran intends to stick up for its rights, including its right to develop nuclear power.
The workers of the world must support Iran in its struggle against imperialist domination, and must demand that all US and UK forces are withdrawn from the Gulf and the Middle East.