A senior lawmaker said the world powers have adopted a procrastination policy with regard to Iran’s nuclear energy program until Tehran’s presidential election in June 2013.
“The P5+1 (permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) is wasting the time until Iran’s presidential election,” said Mansour Haqiqatpour, deputy head of the Majlis Foreign Policy and National Security Commission, in a Saturday interview.
“Irrespective of agreement or disagreement of the P5+1 countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not surrender its right to achieve nuclear technology and [produce] 20-percent enriched uranium, which is needed for radio medicines,” Fars News Agency quoted him as saying.
The legislator downplayed the effectiveness of the external pressures against Iran’s nuclear energy program, saying, “The West should recognize the powerful, independent Iran which enjoys an outstanding geopolitical weight; otherwise all the Western moves in the region are doomed to failure.”
Haqiqatpour welcomed recent remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in which he supported Iran’s nuclear energy program and pointed out that such positive stances can have a constructive impact on the process of Iran’s negotiations with the West.
On Thursday, Lavrov underlined Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy and warned that the use of force against Iran will lead to negative consequences for regional and global security.
Iran and the P5+1 have held several rounds of talks with the main focus being Iran’s nuclear energy issue. Iran maintains that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Tehran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.
Iran’s Influence Scares Zionists
From Page 1
It charges the USA Administration to detail the presence of Iran, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Qods Force, Hezbollah, and Hamas in the Western Hemisphere. Additionally, it calls for a plan to secure the Southwest border of the USA and prevent Iranian-backed Hezbollah or Hamas “terrorists” from entering the United States. The legislation also requires the Administration to isolate Iran and its proxies from sources of financial support and report back to Congress and the American people on the progress made towards implementing the strategy.
Of course, there are problems with this. For example, much though Hezbollah no doubt dreams of conquering the Amazonian jungle, and the Qods force aspires to climbing mountains in Patagonia (don’t we all?), they are not in South America and are not known to have any ambition to go there.
Furthermore, floods of Iranian ‘terrorists’ have not passed over the (very open) Southwest border of the USA even though hundreds of thousands of Mexicans undoubtedly do.
Indeed, in the absence of American false flag attacks (which must now be expected and at which the USA, like Israel, is adept), the Iranians are only peaceably present in South America and in very small numbers e.g. in embassies and delegations.
And, to cap it all, passing legislation “to isolate Iran and its proxies from sources of financial support” is an attempt to isolate all those countries which the USA thinks are its friends but which, increasingly, are not. For example, more and more countries are having doubts about the good faith of the USA’s continual military attacks and aggressions (the latest news is that the USA is moving troops into thirty five African countries. Since there are fifty four countries in Africa, there’s only another nineteen to go….)
So what is to be done? And do it now!
This author humbly recounts his experience at a recent conference in Beirut which, although particularly concerned with the vicious suppression in Bahrain, became a celebration of democracy and free speech and a determination to create economic and social justice. So please ask yourself this question - Could Washington or London now hold such a conference without everybody laughing their heads off?
Of course not! The USA and the UK are now recognized as the main agents of suppression and, as for economic and social justice, they can’t even get things right for their own people.
Therefore, the advice for the USA, even though it is now paranoid and thoroughly corrupted, is that it should not panic. Rather, it should calmly and simply set about implementing the following list and then, no doubt to its surprise, it will find its influence in the world growing again (as opposed to catastrophically diminishing).
The USA should:
• Stop attacking and occupying other countries
• Cut its military expenditure to reflect the USA’s percentage of the world’s population
• Implement social and economic justice, particularly in the USA (which has not got any)
• Announce that free speech will everywhere be upheld
• Ensure a genuine justice for Palestine (which can now, in practice, only be a non-racist one-state solution)
• Make a New Year Resolution to practice what it preaches.
However, nobody should hold their breath expecting that any of these things, particularly the New Year Resolution, is going to be implemented.
Source: Press TV
Terrorists Have No PlaceIn Syria Talks
The Iranian ambassador to Lebanon said terrorists do not have the right to participate in talks planned to resolve the crisis in Syria.
“Those who have the blood of innocent Syrians on their hands do not have the right to participate in any talks on the country’s future,” said Ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi during a meeting on Friday with Beirut’s Greek Orthodox patriarch, Metropolitan Elias Audi, Press TV reported on Saturday.
Commenting on Iran’s six-point peace plan for Syria, he said, “Iran has taken practical steps to implement the plan by holding talks in Tehran with the Syrian opposition in attendance, and we hope that the implementation of the plan will restore peace and stability in Syria.”
On November 19, Iran wrapped up a two-day meeting between the representatives of the Syrian government and opposition groups with the participants unanimously opposing any foreign intervention in the Arab country’s internal affairs and calling for a peaceful solution to the prolonged unrest in the country.
Iran’s peace plan, which was announced on December 16, calls for an immediate halt to the violence, the dispatch of humanitarian assistance to Syrians, the lifting of all economic sanctions imposed on the country, and the facilitation of the return of displaced Syrians to their homes.
According to the plan, the Syrian government and representatives of all Syrian groups, regardless of their political and social tendencies, should hold talks in order to form a national reconciliation committee.
The Iranian envoy also said that the armed conflict in Syria “has reached an impasse.”
Metropolitan Audi said Iran’s efforts “play an important role in resolving the crisis in Syria and will prevent the escalation of violence and killing.”
Syria has been the scene of unrest since March 2011 and tens of thousands of people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil.
The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country.
Damascus blames Western countries and some of their regional allies including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of arming the opposition and fueling the crisis in the country, as reports indicate that a large number of insurgents fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.
Several international human rights organizations have accused the foreign-sponsored insurgents of committing war crimes. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said in August that the country is engaged in a “crucial and heroic” battle that will determine the destiny of the nation.
Iran has repeatedly rejected foreign intervention in Syria’s internal affairs, calling for national dialog as the only way out of the country’s prolonged impasse.
IRGC Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari underlined that Iran’s military drills serve defense objectives and are not meant to direct any specific message to the neighbors.
Minister: Next Pentagon Chief Should Act Wisely
Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi has called on the next US secretary of defense to think wisely and avoid acts of provocation to maintain the Americans’ prestige.
“I recommend that the new US defense secretary think wisely, act wisely, avoid provocation and do not engage in new scenes which will definitely have no benefits for them since this issue will be beneficial to the people of the United States and the world,” Vahidi told reporters on Saturday, Press TV reported.
He expressed hope that the US officials would take lessons from previous mistakes and move in a direction which would be beneficial to the interests of their own nation and world people.
The minister emphasized that the American officials failed to adopt a “wise and rational” behavior in the past and said Washington has provided “unquestionable support” for the Israeli regime and dictatorial regimes which have been overthrown.
US President Barack Obama is expected to nominate a new defense secretary to take over for retiring Leon Panetta and a new director for the Central Intelligence Agency to replace former spy chief David Petraeus, who resigned last month over an extramarital affair with his biographer.
UN Mission Denounces US Daily’s Nuclear Scenarios
Iran responded to an opinion piece by the Wall Street Journal on the threshold of a new round of talks between Tehran and the six major world powers (P5+1), asserting the country’s “inalienable right” to the nuclear fuel cycle.
“It is unfortunate that, parallel to new efforts to hold another round of talks between Iran and the P5+1, attempts aimed at disrupting these efforts and spreading Iranophobia have gotten under way too,” head of Press Office at Iran’s UN mission in New York, Alireza Miryousefi, said on Friday.
The December 18 op-ed ‘The Economic Cost of a Nuclear Iran’ by the American newspaper was “appalling and a grotesque stretch of imagination,” he added, Press TV reported.
The piece introduces five scenarios as the upshot of a case when Iran acquires atomic bombs: “Domestic instability in Saudi Arabia, the destruction of Saudi energy facilities, an Iran-Saudi nuclear exchange, an Iran-Israel nuclear exchange, and the lapse of sanctions against Iran.”
He emphasized that such attempts are intent on averting focus on the real threat in the region emanating from nuclear arsenal of the Israeli regime and its continued policy of appropriating the Palestinians’ lands.
Such diversionary Iranophobic arguments are aimed at letting the Israeli regime off the hook and pressing the wrong agenda for the US government, the Iranian diplomat said, warning that such efforts would only seriously harm Washington’s own interests.
Miryousefi explained that Iran and Saudi Arabia have normal neighborly relations, underpinned by many historic, cultural and religious affinities.
A look at the ties between the two nations would leave no room for such fictitious scenarios as the article’s authors toy with, he pointed out.
The Iranian diplomat urged the US to adopt a more “realistic and constructive” approach toward talks between Iran and the P5+1 - China, Russia, France, Britain, the US and Germany -- and the Islamic Republic’s efforts to establish a Middle East free of nuclear weapons.
He added that Iran has always reiterated that its nuclear energy program is fully for peaceful purposes, and the intensive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections have never revealed anything to the contrary.
“Last week, Iran and the IAEA made substantial progress on the ‘structured approach’ for future cooperation,” he said, noting the negotiations would continue in mid-January.
Like other members of the IAEA, Iran enjoys an “inalienable right” to possess a civilian nuclear-fuel cycle in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Miryousefi pointed out.