Mottaki calls on Europe to accept Iran`s legitimate right to nuclear energy
Iran Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Feb 21, 2006
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki assured Europe Monday that Iran`s nuclear program was for peaceful use and urged Europeans to recognize the Islamic Republic`s legitimate right to nuclear energy.
`Iran`s nuclear activity is peaceful.
Nuclear knowledge for peaceful purposes is the natural right of all states, particularly of countries which have signed the NPT,` Mottaki told the Foreign Relations Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels Monday night.
`We need to build trust.
It should be a two-way trust,` he said.
`We are here to listen to your new views.
We are ready to discuss any new opinion.
We are open to Europe,` he told the jampacked room of MEPs and EU officials.
Mottaki criticized western double standards towards the nuclear issues, pointing out that `you have the capacity in Europe to build the nuclear bomb.
Nuclear bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
` `We will never accept scientific apartheid and nuclear apartheid,` he said.
He stressed that religion does not allow production of nuclear weapons and reiterated that nuclear arms have no place in Iran`s defense doctrine.
`We are continuing our cooperation and dialogue with the IAEA,` noted Mottaki.
On the Russian proposals, he said they can be acceptable if they incorporate certain complimentary elements.
Referring to the cartoon controversy, Mottaki said `our friends in Europe must avoid double standards.
` He called for respect of religious values and stressed that what happened in Dennmark was a provocation.
`We are trying to alleviate the anger of our people.
` Mottaki said the Islamic Republic of Iran did not recognize two regimes -- the defunct apartheid regime of South Africa and the Zionist regime.
He noted that the people of South Africa threw out the apartheid regime and the Zionist regime will suffer the same fate.
Mottaki said there should be a referendum in Palestine with the participation of all its inhabitants and the Palestinian diaspora.
Why should Muslims pay the price of the Holocaust?, he asked.
On Iraq, Mottaki said that there should be a timetable for withdrawal of foreign occupation forces.
He reminded the European lawmakers that many European companies supplied chemical weapons to the regime of Saddam Hussein during the war against Iran.
He condemned the Guantanamo prison as another sign of `inhnuman behavior` and said Tehran supports UN chief Kofi Annan`s call to shut down Guantanamo.
During the 90-minute event, Mottaki replied to questions by MEPs on the nuclear issue, Israel, Palestine and human rights.
Later, he and Brok gave a joint press conference in which the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee said Europe wants to promote dialogue and understanding with the Muslim world.
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