Syria voices support of Iran's nuclear program

Friday, January 20, 2006

Map highlighting Iran.

On Thursday, Syria said that it supports Iran's nuclear stance and said it "has a right to atomic technology," and said Western objections to Tehran's nuclear ambitions were "not persuasive."

It comes in the wake of demands by US and European countries for Iran to halt its nuclear fuel enrichment activities. Iran notes that its nuclear program is civilian and consistent with Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which establishes the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and that it in line with Article IV, it will not abandon its enrichment efforts.

The Non-Proliferation Treaty is part of international law and under Article VI, requires the US, France, UK and other nuclear weapons states to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date [the treaty was signed in 1968] and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.

President Bashar Assad of Syria, a longtime Iranian ally said he "backed Tehran's moves toward nuclear power," and wanted to strengthen the two nation's ties. "We support Iran regarding its right to peaceful nuclear technology," Assad said at a news conference with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "It is the right of Iran and any other state to own nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Countries that object to that have not provided a convincing or logical reason."

Map highlighting Syria.

Ahmadinejad also said the two countries needed to "coordinate their positions."

Also on Thursday, Russia's Foreign Minister called for "a cautious approach to the mounting crisis over Iran's renewal of nuclear research."

The two nations have been allies for twenty-six years.