Iranians "entitled to peaceful civilian nuclear power," Clinton says

13:01, October 27, 2010      

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The United States on Tuesday said that Iranians "are entitled to peaceful civilian nuclear power," but "not entitled to nuclear weapons."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters at a meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger.

Clinton was at the UN Headquarters in New York to attend an open debate of the Security Council on the role of women in maintaining international peace and security.

"They are entitled to peaceful civilian nuclear power. They are not entitled to nuclear weapons," Clinton said of Iran's move to load fuel into the core of its first nuclear plant at Bushehr on Tuesday.

Clinton's statement illustrated Washington's willingness, to a certain extent, to acknowledges the Iranian right to the peaceful use of the nuclear energy, one of the three pillars of the international non-proliferation regime, observers here said.

"Our problem is not with their reactor at Bushehr, our problem is with their facilities at places like Natanz and their secret facility at Qom and other places where we believe they are conducting their weapons program," Clinton said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. top diplomat stressed that Russia's work on the Bushehr light-water reactor was separate from the long-running international standoff with Tehran over its nuclear ambitions.

Clinton's remarks came as the Obama administration is pushing to revive a failed deal for Iran to send some of its nuclear stockpile overseas in exchange for assistance with peaceful nuclear technology. The U.S. aim is to try to reduce Tehran's ability to quickly produce an atomic weapon.

Spindelegger said there were signs Iran was ready to resume the nuclear talks with world powers. Clinton also voiced the U.S. hope to see Tehran back at the negotiating table with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China, known as the five plus one powers, on an offer of incentives in exchange for Iran halting enrichment.

The powers involved in the talks with Iran are the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany, which will be a non-permanent member of the 15-nation Council starting Jan. 1.

In early September, Ali-Asghar Soltaniyeh, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the Islamic Republic News Agency that the latest IAEA report has proven that Iran's nuclear facilities are for peaceful purposes.

After seven years of constant inspections, the report once again confirms the non-diversion of Iran's nuclear activities toward military and banned objectives,

The IAEA report reflects that Iran has been quite successful in scientific, technological and enrichment activities, and all these activities have taken place under the supervision of the agency, Soltaniyeh added.

Source: Xinhua


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