Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ahamadinejad dashes Europeans' hopes

The Iranian President mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed his country's "inalienable right" to produce nuclear fuel Saturday, rejecting a European offer of economic in return for suspending its uranium enrichment program.

The Iranian President instead offered foreign countries and companies a role in Iran's nuclear energy production to assure the world Iran didn't have any intention of building nuclear weapons.

He said Iran has a right to produce nuclear fuel under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and implicitly accused the Europeans and Americans of "misrepresenting" Iran's desire for civilian nuclear energy "as the pursuit of nuclear weapons."

Calling the US and Europeans' position "a pure propaganda ploy", he said The Islamic Republic of Iran had repeatedly declared position in the past that in accordance with its religious principles, pursuit of nuclear weapons is prohibited.

As Chicago Tribune quite rightly argued back in August, any country seeking to develop a peaceful nuclear power program would have eagerly jumped at the incentive package offered to Iran by three European powers and backed by the U.S. The offer reportedly included a promise of access to nuclear reactor technology and a guaranteed supply of nuclear fuel that would allow Iran to build civilian nuclear reactors plus a full political and economic relationship with the West, from technology sharing to trade preferences to security guarantees.

What purpose exactly Ahamadinejad's offer--regarding foreign companies' participation in Iran's nuclear program--serves is unclear to analysts at this point, although one thing is crystal clear tonight after his speech: Iran will defiantly go ahead with its nuclear program and the world hasn't got much time to stop it.