Former Iran president defends right of access to nuclear energy
Former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami on Friday stressed Iran's right of access to nuclear energy and fuel for peaceful purposes. After an address to a seminar at the United Nation University in Tokyo, Khatami told the audience that Iran had no desire to build nuclear weapons and does not need to do so.
"Iran doesn't want to get access to nuclear weapons. Not at all. We do not need them," said Khatami.
According to IRNA, Khatami emphasized that Tehran has the legitimate right to produce energy from nuclear technology as other countries do. "Concerning wide application of nuclear energy worldwide, Iran is entitled to having the energy and its fuel and to this end, Iranian scientists have tried to attain the technology despite sanctions.
"Others say we will meet your fuel; what a guarantee there will be that after building several power plants and spending billions of dollars for the purpose, others will not deprive us from the energy by imposing their own traits and they will not issue sanctions against us for whatever reason?" asked Khatami.
"Isn't there any guarantee that we will be able to provide the fuel alike other countries such as Japan, Canada and elsewhere to protect our national interests?"
"If they are very much concerned about nuclear weapons, we are a member of NPT (Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty); though not having signed the additional protocol, it was fully implemented on voluntary basis during my presidency; and Iran is under supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency," said Khatami.
"If there is concern over nuclear bomb, why we, who have not yet achieved the peaceful nuclear technology, i.e. production of uranium with 3.5 percent enrichment -- that serves as fuel for nuclear plants -- are not trusted and put under pressure, while the powers that have hundreds of nuclear warheads in the region and are capable of producing tens of nuclear bombs a year, are not only put under pressure but are also supported?"