Iran wont back down on atomic research, says Ahmadinejad

Tehran, Jan 5 | Updated: Jan 6 2006, 05:30am hrs
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted on Thursday that Iran would resume atomic research, despite warnings from the West that it would endanger efforts to find a diplomatic compromise over its nuclear ambitions. Irans announcement on Tuesday that it would resume nuclear research and development, suspended more than two years ago, brought swift warnings from Washington and the European Union, which fear Tehran is secretly building nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad also defended his recent proposal that Israel be moved to Europe on the ground that during World War Two, it was Jews, not Palestinians, who were killed by Europeans. Western diplomats said Irans latest announcement, which followed its resumption of uranium conversion in August, was likely to increase calls for Irans case to be referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

Iran says it will use nuclear technology only for peaceful purposes, such as electricity generation, and that as a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) it has a right to do so. Recently, some of them have said the Iranian nation has no right to nuclear research, Ahmadinejad said in a speech to thousands of people in the holy city of Qom broadcast on state television. But they should know that the Iranian nation and government will defend the right to nuclear research and technology and will go forward prudently, he said. By relying on its young scientists, Iran will use this technology for medicine, industry and energy in the near future, he added. Ahmadinejads speech was greeted with cries of Ahmadinejad, our hero, we support you, from the crowd.

Reuters