Iran not to give up "sovereign rights" of pursing " peaceful" nuclear program: scholar

08:23, May 21, 2010      

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Iranians will not give up their "sovereign rights" of pursing "peaceful" nuclear program, an Iranian University professor told Xinhua in an interview on Wednesday.

Explaining his view on Iran's commitment to developing its own nuclear program, Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a research fellow at the Institute of North American and European Studies of Tehran University, said that Iranians expect their government "to continue its peaceful nuclear program because it is the sovereign right of the nation."

"The Iranians want to develop nuclear energy as an alternative source of energy," Dr. Marandi said.

He argued that since the Iranians are working within the framework of international law and because the Iranian nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, Iranians should not give up nuclear enrichment.

Referring to the recent Tehran nuclear fuel swap deal that Iran signed with Brazil and Turkey, and defending the rationality of the move, Dr. Marandi said, "I think that the swap deal itself should bring the issue of sanctions to an end because this is basically what the Americans were asking for."

"This was a major goodwill gesture from the Iranian side," he said, referring to Iran's joint agreement with Turkey and Brazil on Monday in Tehran by which Iran will ship most of its low enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for the 20 percent uranium fuel needed for its research reactor in Tehran.

Herewith, Iran agreed to a draft proposal under which Iran will send some 1,200 kg of its 3.5 percent enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for a total of 120 kg of 20 percent uranium needed for a medical research reactor.

He said Iran is seeking the "objective guarantees" to secure the exchange of nuclear fuel and now, from his point of view, by signing the contract Iran's requirements could have been met.

"After the Brazilian and Turkish leaders came to Iran and signed the agreement in person, the Iranians felt confident that if they (Iranians) give out 3.5% enriched uranium and Western countries not give the 20% enriched uranium in return ... the Turks will give them back their original uranium," said the scholar.

The scholar observed that such an agreement has the significance of objective guarantees for Iran and "in this sense, Iran feels more secure and that the Western countries will not cheat Iran."

Iran had earlier called for the fuel to be exchanged inside Iran out of mistrust for the West.

Asked about the U.S. responses to the agreement and its push for the fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran, he said that, this agreement, "should bring the issue of sanctions to an end", but "the Americans are keen on maintaining pressure on Iran."

"Instead of trying to build upon this (agreement) to resolve the situation," the Americans are threatening the country with sanctions, he said.

"It seems that the United States is trying to intimidate Iran. But the Iranian people will not be intimidated," he added.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that the U.S., Russia and China have reached agreement on a draft resolution on sanctions on Iran, and the draft will be circulated in the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

Clinton made the remarks when she was testifying at a hearing held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with regard to the U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty.

The U.S. and other Western countries have been accusing Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge always denied by Iran.



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