Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Iran Says It Will Share Nuclear Skills

New York Times:


TEHRAN, April 25—Iran's supreme leader said today in a meeting with the Sudanese president that Iran was ready to share its nuclear technology with other countries.

"Iran's nuclear capability is one example of various scientific capabilities in the country. The Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to transfer the experience, knowledge and technology of its scientists," said the supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, to President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, IRNA news agency reported.

Mr. Khamenei's comments to the leader of Sudan, one of the most unstable countries in Africa, came a few days ahead of the Friday deadline by the United Nations Security Council for Iran to suspend its sensitive uranium enrichment activities.

At a conference on its nuclear program in Tehran today, senior officials rejected the demand and vowed that Iran will continue its enrichment activities.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said that if the Security Council imposed sanctions, Iran will suspend its cooperation with the United Nations nuclear agency, and any military strike aimed at destroying its enrichment facilities will lead Iran to hide its program.

"If you decide to use sanction against us, our relation with the agency will be suspended," Mr. Larijani said. "Military action against Iran will not lead to the closure of the program," he added.

"If you take harsh measures, we will hide this program. Then you cannot solve the nuclear issue."

"You may inflict a loss on us but you will lose also," he warned.

Mr. Larijani said that Iran is willing to cooperate if its case is returned to the International Atomic Energy Agency. "But do not expect us to act otherwise if you drag the case to the Security Council," he added.

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a senior cleric and chairman of the powerful Expediency Council, denounced the role of the nuclear agency at the conference and said the I.A.E.A. has failed to support Iran's program.

"I am not saying that the agency has had bad intentions," he said. "But it has not fulfilled its duty to support countries to enjoy their right to have nuclear technology," he added.

The head of Iran's atomic organization, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, left Tehran for the I.A.E.A.'s headquarters in Vienna today, ISNA news agency reported.


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