left corner left corner
China Daily Website

Iran affirms commitment to nuclear advancement

Updated: 2012-02-23 06:37
( Xinhua)

Iran affirms commitment to nuclear advancement

Iran's Head of Atomic Energy Organization Fereyoun Abbasi-Davani (L) makes a speech during a meeting with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran February 22, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

TEHRAN - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that Iran will continue the course of advancing its nuclear technology "powerfully."

According to Khamenei's website, the supreme leader said "with the help of God almighty and heedless of the (Western) hype, the paths to diverse scientific advancements, especially in nuclear technology, must be continued powerfully and earnestly (by the Islamic republic)."

Khamenei made the remarks at a meeting with a number of Iranian nuclear scientists in Tehran.

He said that a number of countries, which dominate the world " unrighteously", fear that their hegemony may be overthrown by other nations, according to his website.

Khamenei rejected charges saying that Iran's nuclear program aims at weaponry grades.

"Iran is not after nuclear weapons, since the Islamic republic, from the theoretical and religious point of view, considers possessing nuclear weapons as a great sin and believes that keeping such weapons is futile, harmful and dangerous," he was quoted as saying.

The Iranian leader went on to say that the Western sanctions against the Islamic republic "will bear no results," calling such measures "signs of weakness" on the part of the Western powers.

His words came after the second also the latest round of talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) wrapped up late on Tuesday in the Iranian capital.

IAEA Director Yukiya Amano confirmed on Wednesday that no consensus was reached during the two-day meeting between Iranian officials and the IAEA experts.

The recent IAEA expert team was headed by chief inspector Herman Nackaerts and was a follow-up mission after the two sides held their first round of talks in January, which the Iranian media and officials termed "positive and constructive."

Amano also said the IAEA team's request to visit the Parchin military site was declined, which the IAEA chief called "disappointing."

The agency believes Parchin is where Iran's suspicious nuclear activities are carried out.

However, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday that the IAEA experts' visit to Tehran was for talks rather than a visit to the nuclear sites, contradicting the IAEA's earlier remarks.

Based on an IAEA report released in November 2011, the board of the UN nuclear watchdog adopted a resolution on Iran's nuclear program, calling for intensified dialogue between the agency and Iran to find solutions to the country's nuclear issues.

The IAEA report, which alleged Iran had engaged in nuclear bomb- related activities, was rejected by Tehran, which called the report "imbalanced, unprofessional and politically-motivated."

Since the report was issued, Western countries have been tightening sanctions on Tehran, causing a soaring inflation and a free fall of Iranian currency rial's value against the US dollar, which have harmed Iran's economy.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia hopes that Iran and G5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) will soon reach a consensus on a resumption of negotiations concerning the Islamic republic's nuclear program.

Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told reporters that Russia expects an agreement to be reached shortly on the time and place of the next contact between the G5+1 and Iran.

Also on Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that Tehran and the IAEA still have time to find a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.

"I would not draw any final conclusions that the dialogue has failed ... during the visit (by the IAEA delegation to Iran)," Gatilov told the Interfax news agency.