Larijani: West won't stop Iran nuke effort

Nov. 22, 2011 at 6:20 AM
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TEHRAN, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The West won't be able to obstruct Iran's pursuit of nuclear technology through further sanctions, Iranian Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani says.

Larijani, speaking during Sunday's opening session of the Majlis, or Parliament, said the release this month of a tough report by the International Atomic Energy Agency contending Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon won't dissuade it from developing what it calls a peaceful nuclear program.

The IAEA report, adopted Friday by the U.N. watchdog group's board of governors, prompted EU officials to begin discussions on possible new sanctions on Tehran. Those sanctions could be ready by Dec. 1 when EU foreign ministers are to meet.

Larijani said such "obstructive and ineffective actions" won't "prevent the Iranian nation from pursuing nuclear technology and the redemptive causes of the revolution (manifested in) the Islamic awakening in the region," the semi-official Mehr News Agency reported.

The Iranian leader said the IAEA report shows the West is "blowing the relevant issues out of proportion" and reveals "evil intentions."

Larijani asserted the United States is flogging the issue of Iran's nuclear program because it is "lagging behind" behind developments in the Middle East, manifested in the Arab Spring movement and is trying to distract attention from its own "crisis of legitimacy," as evidenced by the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Yukiya Amano, a Japanese diplomat who has run the IAEA for nearly two years, told the agency's board it has compiled more than 1,000 pages of documents regarding Iran indicating "research, development and testing activities" that could only be useful in designing a nuclear weapon.

The agency also said it had also received intelligence information from "more than 10" other unnamed countries, some of which demonstrated Iranian "manufacturing techniques for certain high-explosive components."

Iranian officials contend the evidence was faked and some have warned any attempt to stop the program could evoke retaliation.

Larijani, Iran's former lead nuclear negotiator, also told the news agency Sunday that Iran's further cooperation with the IAEA would depend on the "attitude" it will adopt.

He dismissed Amano's report as "unrealistic" and contended that while Iran has been cooperating, the IAEA has "strayed from the legal path.

"The continuation of contact and the way of cooperation with the agency depends on its behavior," he stated.

Larijani said the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee is set to take up the topic of Tehran's future cooperation with the IAEA.

"We should take the measures necessary to enlighten the world public opinion about the report," he said, adding, "If the agency intends to deprive Iran, which is a member (state), of its rights, we will take the necessary measures."

The Iranian Parliament last week reacted to the IAEA report by calling it "open hostility" and condemning the agency for "following the orders" of the United States and Israel.

A review of Tehran's stance toward the U.N. watchdog is necessary because "the agency has shown that cooperation or non-cooperation won't affect its inept decisions," the speaker said.

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