[Marxism] Iran Tries to Strike a Deal With The Oil Seeking USA

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 28 19:01:11 MDT 2004


Iran Ready to Provide Nuke 'Guarantees'
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran said Saturday it would continue its nuclear program but 
provide "guarantees" not to build atomic weapons, and warned Washington it 
cannot stabilize neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan without Tehran's help.

In a wide-ranging news conference, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said 
the wall of mistrust separating Tehran and Washington had become thicker 
during the Bush administration, adding he hoped American casualties in Iraq 
would affect U.S. public opinion before the November election.

Washington claims the Iranian nuclear program is aimed at building atomic 
weapons, but Tehran says is directed at generating electricity.

"We are ready to do everything necessary to give guarantees that we won't 
seek nuclear weapons," Khatami said. "As Muslims, we can't use nuclear 
weapons," he told reporters in Tehran. "One who can't use nuclear weapons 
won't produce them."

He did not elaborate on the nature of the guarantees, but Iran has already 
agreed to international inspections of its nuclear facilities and military 
sites. Khatami reiterated his country would not give up its nuclear program.

Khatami's statement marks the first time Tehran has so publicly said it 
would provide guarantees to ease international concerns about its nuclear 
program.

On the U.S.-led conflicts in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan, Khatami said 
Washington needs Iranian help to succeed in both countries. The United 
States and some Iraqi officials accuse Iran, which follows the Shia branch 
of Islam like most Iraqis, of meddling in Iraqi affairs.

"The U.S. knows itself that it can't succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan without 
an Iranian presence," he said. "Without imposing itself, Iran is considered 
an effective force in Iraq. You can't ignore the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Khatami, however, said Tehran will not to settle its "many differences with 
America" in Iraq, but strongly criticized Bush for his Iraq policies, saying 
he hoped U.S. casualties in Iraq would affect the outcome of the upcoming 
election.

But he praised Iraq's most senior Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali 
al-Sistani, as a supporter of democracy in Iraq, unlike the Americans "who 
are suppressing the people."

He warned Washington against making the same mistake it did in Iraq by 
attacking Iran, but said an American invasion was doubtful because the 
United States was so bogged down in Iraq.

President Bush labeled Iran as part of a global axis of evil along with 
North Korea  and Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

"There is enough American public opinion pressure on Washington because of 
the young soldiers being killed in Iraq" to ensure Washington does not 
threaten Iran, he said.

Khatami warned Israel it would be committing "suicide" if it attacked Iran, 
following recent threats that the Jewish state might take military action to 
prevent Iran from making a nuclear bomb.

On the nuclear issue, Khatami said Iran is entitled to obtain capabilities 
to go through the full nuclear fuel cycle, from extracting uranium ore to 
enriching it for use as reactor fuel.

"We don't want anything beyond this. It's our legitimate right and no 
country can prevent us from achieving it," he said.

Earlier this month, Iran confirmed it had resumed building nuclear 
centrifuges, which can be used to enrich uranium to weapons grade, and 
declared it should have the right to advanced nuclear technology.

Washington has been lobbying U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic 
Energy Agency, to refer Iran's nuclear dossier to the Security Council, 
which could impose sanctions.

Khatami said Washington has no evidence to demand U.N. sanctions and urged 
the IAEA not to bow to U.S. pressure when it discusses Iran's nuclear 
program next month, saying the Iranian case should be closed.

Khatami, ending his second and final four-year presidential term in 2005, 
acknowledged he had failed to fully implement his social and political 
reform program because of opposition from unelected, powerful hard-line 
institutions controlled by Islamic clerics.

Still, he said he had changed Iran's political landscape, adding "I came to 
work within the ruling system, not to change the system or bring tension."

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