Iraqi minister defends Iranian nuclear program
'Every country has right' to nuclear technology, Zebari says
Friday, May 26, 2006; Posted: 6:56 p.m. EDT (22:56 GMT)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iran has a right to develop nuclear technology and the international community should drop its demands that Tehran prove it's not trying to build a nuclear weapon, Iraq's foreign minister said Friday.
"Iran doesn't claim that they want to obtain a nuclear weapon or a nuclear bomb, so there is no need that we ask them for any guarantee now," Hoshyar Zebari said after meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Manouchehr Mottaki.
Iran's nuclear ambitions are "an international issue," Zebari said. "In our beliefs, it is a matter of principle. Every country has the right to have its nuclear technology, every country like the Islamic Republic or any other country, since it is for peaceful purposes."
Zebari did say that Iran's nuclear program must be monitored by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
He also called for a diplomatic solution to the standoff between Iran and the West.
"We have agreement that we need to deal with this issue politically, peacefully and diplomatically," Zebari said. "We know that the wise Iranian administration will be able to resolve this issue."
Iran in February ended its voluntary cooperation with the IAEA, which included ending surprise inspections of nuclear facilities.
Iran claims it is enriching uranium to create nuclear power. But the United States and other Western countries have accused the Islamic republic of pursuing nuclear weapons. The U.N. Security Council has demanded that Iran cease enrichment activities, but Iran has refused.
World powers -- including permanent Security Council members Russia, China, France, Britain and the United States -- met this week to discuss the possibility of an incentives package to entice Iran into abandoning its nuclear-enrichment program, according to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton. He did not elaborate in his comments Thursday to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Whether incentives will sway Iran is uncertain. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad already has likened one incentives package to trading candy for gold.
Iran's U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Javad Zarif said Thursday that Iran wanted to negotiate directly with the United States on the matter and said that Iran would not be force-fed a solution. Incentives, or the carrot-and-stick approach, will not be effective, he said.
"It's not whether Iran likes carrots," he said. "Iran likes respect. Iran demands respect. If there is to be a solution in Iran, Iran has to be part of the solution. We don't expect others to cook for us something and then present it to us and then tell us, 'Eat it or else.' This is not the way Iranians do international business."
Also Friday, Iran expressed support for Iraq's national unity government, asked for the release of 72 Iranian inmates held in Iraqi prisons and declared its willingness to take part in the reconstruction of Iraq, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.
I'd like to hear your opinions on the entire issue.
I agree with Iraq on this matter actually. Who cares what Tehran is trying to do with nuclear? They mention that they want to use it as an alternative energy and so on, NOTHING to do with nuclear weapon. Yes, they can lie about it. However, they can also be telling the truth. Why not we give them the benefit of doubt? Even if it turns out to be nuclear weapon like Kim Jong Il, US shouldn't feel threatened as well. Afterall, no country can win one-on-one against US. I'm pretty sure of that. So why care? Also, restricting them from developing nuclear energy wont bring anything positive as well.
1. They have a few hundred thousands of suicide bombers around the world willing to bomb any entities that is precious to US. They can do a lot of damages without US being able to strike back. Have we forgotten about 911? We sure dont want that kind of thing to happen again, do we?
2. They can easily control Strait of Hormus, Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Those are some strategic places for shippings and tradings. They might just be able to paralyse the whole trading industry around that area. Not a smart move from US if they still insist on stopping Iran from developing it nuclear technology.
3. If they really go into a war, who will win? Will US win or will Iran win? My prediction, it's a lose-lose situation. US is lacking armies in their homeland. Many of them are servicing outside US. In fact, during the war with Iraq back in 2003, 2004, and 2005 , US even rewarded his armies with USD 500 for every soldier recruited.
Conclusion, dont go for war. Leave Iran as it is now. Maybe they never even thought of developing nuclear weapon. US's warning and so on might just set that trigger away. Let it be and time will tell.