Iranian president urges world powers to "take step" to resolve nuclear issue

11:14, July 22, 2011      

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that Iran has already taken measures to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and now it is the world powers' turn to "take step" to resolve Iran's nuclear issue.

"You will take one step and we will take one," Ahmadinejad was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying.

Ahmadinejad made the remarks at a ceremony in Iran's southeastern Kerman province in reaction to a Russian proposal to adopt a "phased" approach to settle Iran's nuclear issue, IRNA said.

The "phased" approach called by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed that Iran addresses the international concerns and questions raised by the IAEA about its nuclear activities in a staged schedule and in return the economic sanctions imposed on Iran would be removed in a staged manner over time.

The West suspects that Iran's uranium enrichment may be meant for producing nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the allegation, saying its nuclear program is only for peaceful use.

"We have asserted that we do not want bombs and have also made it clear that if we want any bombs, we have no fear of anyone to announce it," Ahmadinejad said.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran's Majlis (parliament), said Friday that Russia's proposal would be a "repetitious attempt" as Tehran has already addressed all the questions over its nuclear issue.

Boroujerdi hailed Russia's "positive attitude" to help remove obstacles to its nuclear issue but said the proposal would be a " return to the first place."

"Returning to the first place cannot be a proper solution," since Iran has already answered all the questions of the alleged studies under the modality plan agreed between the Islamic republic and the IAEA in 2007, Boroujerdi said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said earlier this month that Iran was ready for new talks on its disputed nuclear program and alleged nuclear weapons studies, but would not give up its nuclear rights.

Salehi said at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna that Iran and IAEA "have promised that their experts will sit together and think of a new mechanism of continuing our work vis-a-vis on this issue. "

Since August 2008, Iran has been refusing to answer questions from the IAEA about its nuclear research and development projects.

On Thursday, Ahmadinejad also said that Iran is not a threat to the regional and European countries, and the accusations that Iran seeks to strike Russia or other European countries with its missiles are lies.

"Iran does not need to do so because it has cordial relations with Russia and others," IRNA quoted him as saying.

In June and earlier July, the Islamic republic conducted a 10- day major missile drills which the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) called a "successful missile maneuver" achieving its objectives.

In the drill, the IRGC testfired two kinds of smart and radar- evading short-range surface-to-sea missiles, "Tondar" and " Persian Gulf". It also testfired 14 short, medium and long-range missiles, launched the radar system Ghadir for detecting cruise and ballistic missiles, and unveiled underground missile silos.

While the United States and its western allies raised concerns over the considerable progress in Iran's missile technology coupled with its nuclear program, the Iranian officials stressed that they developed the missile systems for defensive purposes.

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