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