Iran determined to continue with nuclear program

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, announced Saturday the resolve of his country to proceed with the development of nuclear energy. He stated that Iran would not pursue nuclear weapons.

Mr. Ahmadinejad also noted that he was willing to allow international inspection of his program, and reaffirmed his claim of its peaceful nature.

At the UN conference, Mr. Ahmadinejad made clear that he felt that Iran had a right to nuclear energy, and that the nations of world practiced "nuclear apartheid" by refusing to let Iran pursue this course. "We're not going to cave in to the excessive demands of certain powers," he said, refusing to yield to international pressure to halt his country's nuclear course.

He said that talks should be restarted, this time including other nations such as South Africa.

The speech was not in line with what the US and others want for Iran; Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned the UN that Iran's nuclear ambitions were dangerous. One British official was quoted as saying "This was an unhelpful speech on which we will now want to consult our partners on the International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors."

The IAEA is slated to begin a discussion on Iran's nuclear program in Vienna on Monday.