Iran defiant at IAEA meeting

2012-11-30 20:02

Vienna - Iran on Friday fiercely denied seeking nuclear weapons and threatened to withdraw from a key treaty aimed at stopping their spread, in another note of defiance just as fresh diplomatic efforts gather pace.

Speaking at a tense UN atomic agency meeting, Iran's envoy said that no "smoking gun" indicating a covert weapons drive had ever been found and that the West wanted to hijack the agency for their own ends.

Presenting a list of "50 questions and answers," Ali Asghar Soltanieh said that "no doubt is left that the (International Atomic Energy Agency) file has to be closed immediately."

He told the closed-door IAEA meeting in Vienna that the six resolutions on Iran passed by the UN Security Council were "illegal" and that Tehran would "never suspend" its programme, according to the text of his remarks.

The speech followed the release of an IAEA report earlier showing that Iran is continuing to defy UN Security Council by expanding its capacity to enrich uranium, which can be used in peaceful purposes but potentially also in a nuclear bomb.

One Western diplomat called the comments "absolutely ridiculous" and said that it made him "very pessimistic" about renewed diplomatic efforts to resolve the long-running crisis.

Soltanieh repeated long-standing Iranian threats that if Israel bombs its facilities, Tehran "may" withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which aims to stop the spread of atomic weapons.

Israel, widely believed to have nuclear weapons -- it has not signed the NPT, like India and Pakistan, while North Korea withdrew -- has refused to rule out military action to prevent its arch-rival also getting the bomb.

Several rounds of talks this year were fruitless however and Washington's envoy to the IAEA, Robert Wood, said on Thursday that the United States would push for the agency's board to take the rare step of referring Iran to the UN Security Council if Tehran displays no "substantive cooperation" by its next board meeting in March.

  • squeegee.pilot - 2012-11-30 20:23

    And we all believe Iran, don't we... hahaha.

      roger.kaputnick.90 - 2012-11-30 21:01

      @ Adrian. Most responsible nations have nukes. Do you really think Iran should have them? Those guys are rabid islamists, itching to get their quota of virgins.

      roger.kaputnick.90 - 2012-11-30 21:21

      They didn't find any, but it was a documented fact that Iraq had used chemical weapons on their own people. Oh and Saddam really was a bad guy.

  • michael.bushes.5 - 2012-11-30 20:32

    Iran has no nukes. Israel should open its doors to allow for nuke inspections, what makes it so special to disallow this, yet criticising Iran for SUSPECTED nuke development

      jarome.furman - 2012-12-01 13:22

      Israel is not special - they are merely trying to survive against real threats of "wiping them off the map" from very aggressive neighbours !

      moses.mabhida.52 - 2012-12-01 15:37

      Iran is just a name behind a mask of mad Islamic mullas and ayatollas who believe Allah has given them the devine right to kill infidels. Iran supports terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah and is responsible for terrorist attacks in India and Europe. Iran armed with nuclear weapons is the number one threat to our planet and global warming is right after. There is nothing worse then Islamic fanaticism! Israel has never threatened any other nation with annihilation, Israel is a democracy and is the " bumper" between the free world and the religous mutters in Iran. Israel self defence is no crime. Many talk about iraq's WMD yet they forget that Iraq attacked and invaded Kuwait! Saudi, UAE and the other gulf states fear Iran far more then they hate Israel- and that is something to think about.

      japie.bosman - 2012-12-01 20:08

      The thing is Iran is full of crazy muslims that is willing to blow themselves up, just to kill other humans, what do you think will happen if they have atomic weapons? They would not hesitate to use it, especially against their biggest enemy ever, Israel. On the other hand Israel has been threatened from all fronts and have not threatened to use nuclear weapons against it's enemies. I do not favor Israel at all, I'm just trying to think what some fanatical muslims will do with a nuclear weapon.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-12-02 07:54

      Precisely because Iran finances and arms terrorist militias like Hamas and Hisballah, who exist only to threaten Israel. The issue is not about Iran firing a nuclear tipped missile at Israel. It is about Iran potentially supplying a 'dirty bomb' the size of a small car to the terrorists. A 'dirty bomb' will destroy and contaminate a city like Tel Aviv.

  • - 2012-11-30 20:56

    Anyone who believes iran is beyond naive. It's time you people progressed out of kindergarten and started on that first step towards entering the real world.

  • Raymon - 2012-11-30 23:51

    Adrian, please stop embarrassing yourself. It is clear you have no idea what you are talking about. Do some research and find out what the Iranian leadership stand for and what they want to achieve, then you'll see why some countries should not possess nuclear weapons.

  • kaapse.skollie.7 - 2012-12-01 08:04

    We shouldn't trust iran, but we must trust nuclear powers israel and the US - the only nation who actually used WMDs? Lol. Where I live, we make use of koeberg's nuclear power - that doesn't mean we have nuclear weapons.

      kaapse.skollie.7 - 2012-12-01 08:59

      Didn't they say the same of iraq? And look how that theory bombed - pardon the pun. Nuclear power is frightening - in whoever's hands, not just iran's. US are the main culprits, israel are trigger happy too. Why practise double standards?

      kaapse.skollie.7 - 2012-12-01 10:29

      Ah, so this debate is about zionist islamophobia. And there I thought it was about nuclear armament.

  • mlimiliba.siqendu - 2012-12-01 19:31

    The worst mistake any country with a project on atomic materials can make is to allow the IAEA inspectors to tour their facilities. Most of those inspectors are well versed in espionage and they will automatically relay what they have seen to their handlers. So any country which still wants its dignity can never open itself to such undesirables. And since the manufacture of whatever materials depends on the human mind we can still expect surprises. The ones who do not have the capability today can be experts tomorrow. Whatever comes to Israel will be the fruition of what that country sowed over many years. If I'm not mistaken Israel was built out of injustice and we can never expect it to last till the end of time.

      moses.mabhida.52 - 2012-12-01 19:49

      You are mistaken. Israel has more right to be there then South Africa does. 3000 years of jewish presence there speaks volumes of their rightful land claim against muslim seaing as islam was only born 1400 years ago. Just because Muslims tell you Israel is bad doesn't mean it actually is bad. Do some research for yourself cause the aljazeera Arab sponsored propaganda you read on news24 is not the best source of knowledge about Israel.

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