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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

IAEA no longer objective on Iran: Salehi

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Nov 13, IRNA -- Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi strongly criticized the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on his country's nuclear program, accusing the UN watchdog of having abandoned objectivity on the issue.

In an interview with Hamburg-based weekly news magazine Der Spiegel, Salehi stressed the allegations in the IAEA report against Iran were unfair and not justified at all.

He said the IAEA was acting under the pressure of 'certain countries.'

Salehi added his country was not afraid of discussing the latest report in the IAEA.

The Iranian minister made clear that IAEA head Yukiya Amano and his agency would be held accountable for its conclusions in the report.

Salehi accused the Vienna-based UN nuclear organization of having abandoned its objectivity.

He reiterated Tehran had never submitted any wrong information to the IAEA and had always had good cooperation with the IAEA within the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its agreements with the UN agency.

Salehi reaffirmed that weapons of mass destruction had no place in Iran's defense doctrine, pointing to a fatwa by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei who had labeled them un-Islamic and 'haram.'

At the same time, Iran's top diplomat emphasized that his country would proceed its civilian nuclear program unfazed by western sanction threats.

Salehi said a number of countries, among them Iran, Russia, Brazil and Turkey, had made recommendations to solve the nuclear row, however their proposals were rejected.

He highlighted the fact that Tehran had even suspended its uranium enrichment for a while as a confidence-building measure, however even that move was not appreciated.

Salehi said it was no use for Iran to make additional concessions as according to him, the nuclear question was just an excuse to weaken Iran by all means.

The minister reaffirmed Iran's right to have uranium enrichment within the framework of the NPT.

Salehi made clear his country had fulfilled all the IAEA requirements to show its nuclear program was of peaceful nature.

He stressed no country in the world had ever provided as much cooperation with the IAEA other than Iran.

The Iranian official warned that although his country did not want a war, it was prepared to defend itself by any means in case of an attack.

Asked about US accusations on Iran's alleged role in the terror plot of the Saudi ambassador in Washington, Salehi said the US claims were staged to divert attention from its economic crisis.

He added the US were also trying to disrupt Iran-Saudi relations by falsely accusing Tehran of being involved in the terror plot.

Salehi demanded an apology from the US for its baseless terror allegations against Tehran.

Meanwhile, he pointed to the fact that the US had launched the Iraq war on the basis of fake evidence.

OT**1432
Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30661278



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