LAST Saturday the Iranian TV, IRINN, broadcast a live news conference by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad with domestic and foreign journalists.
In the opening speech, he spoke for some 15 minutes.
On the latest developments on Iran’s nuclear case, he laid stress on Iran’s legitimate rights to peaceful nuclear technology.
He stressed: ‘Our nation will not cave in to any intimidations,’ even if the UNSC was involved. ‘Nations have awakened today, and they will determine their future.’
President Ahmadinejad told the media: ‘With regard to the issue of human rights our stance is very clear. We said that we will pursue our foreign policy based on justice. We neither oppress anyone nor are we prepared to submit to anyone’s oppression.
‘We want justice, peace and security for all nations. We are defenders of human dignity all across the world. We said to Westerners if you claim to be guardians of human rights, we would like to have a scientific debate with you.
‘It is not right to draw a framework based on one’s personal perspective and personal interest and try to impose it on humanity. It is like making a ruler to measure all nations and stretch them long if they are shorter that our own standards and cut them short if they are longer.
‘This is not an acceptable logic. We said we were prepared to attend scientific meetings so that our scholars could sit and discuss the issues and principles of human rights.
‘Also, we are prepared to send a committee and invite you to send a committee to prepare a report on the human right situation in our countries and to submit it to the world public to be considered from the perspective of global justice. This is a very fair proposal. If some people do not want to use the human rights issue as a leverage of pressure in political developments, it is a very fair proposal.’
He added: ‘We will be sending groups to provide reports on issues, such as the West’s prisons, discriminations against religious minorities, assassinations, secret prisons, torture, other types of discriminations, the type of elections, their economic conditions, their support for international terrorism, their judicial system, their parliament and their administrations.
‘These reports will be published. We will report on the relations between their nations and the governments. Likewise, they can do the same about Iran. We think that such a monitoring system will result in assessing the human rights records of all governments, and thus the issue will avoid becoming a tool of pressure.
‘Unfortunately, we have not received any response yet.’
On the issue of nuclear weapons Ahmadinejad said: ‘Unfortunately today humanity is plagued with some leaders who only see their immediate surroundings.
‘Those who believe they have greater rights than other nations, simply because they possess a large nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal.
‘They are convinced that they can impose their views on others. Iran’s nuclear case falls in that category. All member countries have the right to use peaceful nuclear technology based on the IAEA regulations and Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
‘No amount of efforts can limit these rights or prevent the member countries from realising them. The inspections should not deprive nations from realising their rights. Many Western countries have a large arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. They built dozens of new nuclear power plants every year. They now challenge Iran.’
He continued: ‘As you witnessed recently, they blatantly admitted that they were against research and academic work. We have always known this. They want to monopolise expensive nuclear energy.
‘They are pursuing two objectives. In the first place, they sell this energy at high cost and in a piecemeal fashion to other nations.
‘And in the second place, they use this as a tool to impose their policies on others. We have said it many times that our nation does not need nuclear weapons.
‘A nation which has culture, logic and civilisation does not need nuclear weapons. Those countries which need to solve all problems by force seek nuclear weapons.
‘Our nation does not need such weapons. Our nation has got a very clear logic in all international fields. This logic enshrines in a calm and peaceful environment. Iranian people have a very strong and clear logic which complies with human nature.
‘We believe that some of the western countries have opened Iran’s nuclear dossier in line with their past hostilities against Iran.
‘Those countries, who are now accusing Iran, used to support the corrupt, despotic, unpopular and western regime of this country 30 years ago. They used to provide it with weapons. They even provided it with the nuclear fuel cycle, or at least signed contracts in this respect. They also provided it with nuclear power plant and aircraft.
He continued: ‘There are no limits imposed on research in NPT or in the Additional Protocol. Nor have we made such a commitment.
‘Research is necessary for the life and dynamism of a nation. Is it possible to prevent the advance of ideas and the sciences? Is it possible to prevent the scientific progress of a nation? They say: “no – you have suspended this voluntarily”.
‘We say: “fine, it was voluntarily and we no longer want to suspend it.” They say: “no, the condition for our negotiations with you is to suspend this forever.” We say: “What is this? Do you think you are fooling a child? Why are you twisting it?” Are there any limits imposed on nuclear research or not? If there are no limits, well there are no limits. And if there are limits to which law are you referring to?
‘They tell us: “you have to build confidence”. For 2.5 years the government of the Islamic Republic, out of compassion and kindness, tried to build confidence. Today I declare that it is time for the western countries to build confidence.
‘We have no confidence in their honesty. . .
‘They tell us that we don’t have the right to enjoy scientific development, that we should not be involved in research. You may like to accuse other countries, whenever you want, of doing this or that. Well, this is not going to solve any problems for you. Such language is no longer applicable.
‘I take the opportunity here to advise these countries not to isolate themselves even more among other peoples.
‘Today, the language of hegemony, the language of force, the language of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are no longer applicable. These things are no longer effective in international calculations.
‘Nations have awakened today, and they will determine their future.’