The Guardian 28 September, 2005

Western moves
against Iran denounced

The attempt of the United States and the European Union (EU), a move backed by Australia, to arraign Iran before the UN Security Council because of its alleged intention to develop a nuclear industry is running into strong opposition from Russia, China and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Last week, diplomats from the US, Canada, Britain, and Australia urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board to send Iranís nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council despite the fact that Iranís nuclear activities fully conform to all international regulations and are in accordance with Article 4 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which states all signatories have an absolute right to peaceful nuclear energy. The real issue is not nuclear weapons but the right of any nation to develop a nuclear industry for peaceful purposes.

Russiaís Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denounced the moves against Iran as "counter-productive".

"While Iran is cooperating with the IAEA, is not enriching uranium and observing a moratorium, while (IAEA) inspectors are working in the country, it would be counter-productive to report this question to the UN Security Council", Lavrov said in a speech in San Francisco.

"It will lead to an unnecessary politicising of the situation. Iran is not violating its obligations and its actions do not threaten the non-proliferation regime", he said.

Russia is building a US$1 billion nuclear reactor for Iran and sees it as a key ally in the Middle East. Both Russia and China are permanent members of the Security Council and could use their veto rights to block any move against Iran.

Iranís top nuclear negotiator Ali Asqhar Soltanieh said that Iran would remain with the NPT and stick to its safeguard agreements. If, however, it comes under severe pressure by the West Iran would cease to continue with the voluntary actions that it had agreed to perform. "The report that Iran has threatened to withdraw from the NPT is quite wrong", said the Iran official. Iran strongly believes that the issue can be resolved within the IAEA.

Diplomats from NAM states, China and Russia have become more determined to defend Iranís nuclear policy since they were briefed about its nuclear position in a meeting with Gholamreza Aqazadeh, the director of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran. The Non-Aligned movement has 13 votes on the board of the IAEA.

Iranís recently elected President Mahmud Ahmadinejad announced at the UN General Assembly recently that Iran was ready to cooperate with the private and public sectors of foreign countries in its nuclear activities but Europe reacted impatiently to this important initiative by Tehran.

The double standards of the West are revealed in the fact that despite Israel having nuclear weapons for more than 20 years and has refused to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) absolutely nothing is said by the US or the EU on this score and no attempt has been made by the IAEA to deal with Israelís massive nuclear build-up.

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