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Iran says US not in position to launch costly war against it

Iran says US not in position to launch costly war against it
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First Published: Thu, Oct 04 2007. 12 04 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Oct 04 2007. 12 04 PM IST
United Nations: Insisting that it is “not looking for a nuclear bomb”, Iran has said despite the US’ “psychological war” against it, Washington is not in a position to launch a costly military offensive against it after being embroiled in Iraq.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Motaki, however, said his government is trying its best to avoid confrontation but would not give up its right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
“We are not looking for a nuclear bomb. We do not need a nuclear weapon. It is not in military doctrine,” the Iranian Minister told reporters here on the last day of the UN General Assembly session.
States which had previously used nuclear weapons and are testing new generations of such arms posed “greater danger to global security,” he said.
The US and its allies believe that Iranian nuclear programme is geared towards a weapons programme and want it to abandon uranium enrichment.
The US is conducting a “kind of psychological war” for last two years and saying military option is on the table, Motaki said.
But “our analysis is clear. US is not in a position to impose another war in our region against their taxpayers,” the Iranian minister said, adding “we have tried to brief our friends in the region” about Iran’s effort to avoid confrontation.
Asked why Iran needs nuclear energy when it is sitting on one of the prime petro-puddles, the Minister posed a counter question as to why the US, with its own oil resources, is getting 25 per cent of power from nuclear power plants.
“If it is good for the Untied States, why is it not good for Iran? If it is bad for Iran, why you do not follow the same policy in your country,” Motaki said.
It is the right of all mankind, he said, to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as well as a clean form of power.
As a State party to the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), Iran enjoys the right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Motaki said Iran believes in elimination of all nuclear weapons across the board. “We are a principled nation and we follow our principles.”
The US and its European allies are pressing for a third round of tougher UN sanctions against Iran but have been forced by Russia and China to put off a decision till mid-November, till the UN atomic watchdog, IAEA, submits its report.
Asked about Iran’s ability to sustain sanctions, Motaki said pressuring States to keep them from realizing their rights is not a solution to any problem.
“Political reasons had motivated some countries to put Iran’s nuclear programme before the Security Council.
“Sanctions would be unjust and they would not work,” he asserted. Stating that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the right place to discuss the Iranian nuclear programme, Motaki said Tehran’s replies to a list of questions from IAEA about its nuclear programme would meet with the “satisfaction” of the Vienna-based agency.
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First Published: Thu, Oct 04 2007. 12 04 PM IST