PRESS CONFERENCE BY PRESIDENT OF IRAN
Department of Public Information . News and Media Division . New York
17 September 2005
At a Headquarters press conference this afternoon, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran vehemently stressed that every country, including his own, had the right to develop a peaceful nuclear energy programme.
Criticizing the role of the United Nations in monitoring the nuclear activities of other nations, he said, “This is a great threat which threatens the future of humanity”, adding that Iran had never been an aggressor. The Organization was failing to protect the rights of all nations and was being turned instead into an instrument to further the goals of the economic Powers. “The most transparent of nuclear activity is Iran’s project.” From the very beginning, Iran had announced that all its activities were peaceful and fell within the context of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) safeguards and regulations. However, its nuclear fuel programme was being singled out, even though the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had thoroughly inspected its facilities for 1,200 days and written up more than 1,000 documents.
When asked why a country so rich in oil and so dedicated to peace found it necessary to enrich uranium, he said, “Do you think a country which has oil doesn’t need power, electricity, engineering and medical services?” Iran had fossil fuels and deposits, but they would run out eventually. The IAEA needed to focus its efforts elsewhere. The Agency was obliged to work towards the disarmament of those countries that had nuclear warheads, but it had never conducted even one inspection, and those nations continued their tests. They had used nuclear weapons in the past, but they would not get the upper hand.
Asked what he meant when he said Iran had the right to defend its ability to use nuclear fuel and would undermine the interests of countries which might attack it, the President replied that he had been misquoted by the American media. He added, however, that Iran was not afraid of being attacked. No bold or courageous country was.
In response to a question about whether he would follow through on an earlier statement that he had offered to share nuclear technology with Islamic countries, he said that under the NPT, all Member States were obliged to help one another to gain access to a peaceful nuclear fuel cycle. Iran would also work with the private and public sectors of other countries, including the United States, in relation to uranium enrichment.
Asked if he was worried that subversive elements might be penetrating his country’s borders, he said, “We are very concerned about the security conditions in Iraq. We will do our best for security to return to that country.” Iran had used all its power to secure its borders and had spoken with the leaders of Turkey, Jordan and Kuwait about a possible security arrangement.
When asked whether he was worried about threats by the United States to refer Iran to the Security Council if it did not abide by its nuclear obligations, he said, “We believe we should not give in to bullying in international relations. Our diplomacy and efforts are going to continue unabated.” The Security Council was a forum to provide for the security of different nations, but it was being used to further the intentions of a number of countries. “When they threaten us, it means they have no rationale. We are not going to cave in to excessive demands of certain Powers.”
Asked for his definition of terrorism, he said, “The killing or massacre of innocent people. This is against the law, and we condemn such action.”
When a reporter asked if the President would be willing to support the conclusions of the investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, even if friends of his country might be implicated, he said Iran would work within the context of international laws and regulations to condemn the culprit. “This was an incident which could potentially endanger the unity inside Lebanon.”
The President twice refused to answer questions by Israeli reporters, when they asked why Iran kept calling for the total destruction of Israel. And when asked what he thought of the Road Map to Middle East peace, he replied, “The Road Map is a plan to have hegemony over the Middle East and its extensive natural resources. All nations in the Middle East, including Iran, are completely opposed, and they will use all means in their power to frustrate this plan.”
Asked what he would do to help young people in Iran, where half the population was below the age of 25, he said, “I have extensive plans which deal with culture, sports, marriage, economic housing and research components.”
* *** *
For information media • not an official record
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|