Iran Nuclear News Khamenei aide urges resistance to pressure over nuclear programme

Khamenei aide urges resistance to pressure over nuclear programme

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AFP: The top advisor to Iran’s supreme leader called on Friday for “resistance” to international pressure over the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme, complaining that Tehran was subject to “idiotic and childish” demands. The Europeans “have told us to stop our nuclear programme and in return they will sell us commercial jets and trains”, Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri said in a speech carried on state radio ahead of Friday’s weekly prayers. AFP

TEHRAN – The top advisor to Iran’s supreme leader called on Friday for “resistance” to international pressure over the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme, complaining that Tehran was subject to “idiotic and childish” demands.

The Europeans “have told us to stop our nuclear programme and in return they will sell us commercial jets and trains”, Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri said in a speech carried on state radio ahead of Friday’s weekly prayers.

“This is an idiotic and childish thing,” he said.

“Fortunately, the opinion polls show that 75 to 80 percent of Iranians want to resist, and that we continue our programme and reject humiliation.”

He said supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters of state, “has summed up our policy in one phrase: if you (the Europeans) are reasonable, we will negotiate with you, if not we have nothing to say to you.”

“They tell us to suspend enrichment, but it is none of your business,” said Nategh Nouri, insisting that fuel cycle work was permitted under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

“And what relationship is there between the NPT and the hyprocrites,” he said, referring to the Iraq-based People’s Mujahedeen armed opposition group.

One of the concessions in a package that the European Union’s ‘big three’ — Britain, France and Germany — are believed to be offering Iran in return for a halt of some of it nuclear activities is keeping the People’s Mujahedeen on its list of terrorist groups.

Iran was this week supposed to give its response to demands it halt its uranium enrichment in order to avoid being taken before the UN Security Council and possible UN sanctions. The terms of a preliminary accord were hammered out during two days of tough negotiations in Paris last week.

The Europeans are pushing for Iran to accept a suspension of its work on the nuclear fuel cycle, including enrichment, to ease international concern over what the United States alleges is a covert weapons drive.

In return, Europe’s three major powers are offering Iran civilian nuclear technology, including access to nuclear fuel, increased trade and help with Tehran’s regional security concerns.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been probing Iran for nearly two years, has told the country it must respond this week in writing to the European deal if it wants its position included in a report for an IAEA meeting in Vienna on November 25.

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