Iran: No point in concessions on nuke program

Islamic Republic's foreign minister tells 'Der Spiegel' that nuclear issue being used as an excuse to weaken Iran.

November 13, 2011 17:40
1 minute read.
Iranian FM Ali Akbar Salehi

Salehi 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Sunday seemingly rejected the possibility of a diplomatic solution to ease tensions over the country's controversial nuclear program, accusing the West of using the nuclear issue as "a pretext" to weaken Iran.

"I think there is no purpose in making additional concessions," Salehi said in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel.

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Salehi rejected the report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency last week, which said that evidence suggests Iran is working toward a nuclear weapon. The Iranian foreign minister accused the UN nuclear watchdog, and its head Yukiya Amano, of giving up "objectivity," and bowing to pressure from "certain countries."

“We will call him and the atomic energy authority to account for these conclusions,” he told Der Spiegel.

On Friday, the UN nuclear watchdog showed letters and satellite images as part of evidence pointing to military dimensions to Iran's atomic activities, diplomats said, but Tehran's envoy dismissed it as "lousy" intelligence work.

Herman Nackaerts, head of nuclear inspections worldwide at the IAEA, made an hour-long technical presentation of the agency's latest report on Iran's nuclear program at a closed-door meeting for member states.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, said there were no nuclear-related activities at Parchin.

"There is no proof that Iranian activities are towards military purposes," he told reporters after the briefing.

"We do have conventional activities (at Parchin) and this has nothing to do with nuclear."

Saying the report had damaged the UN agency's credibility, Soltanieh added in English: "This kind of lousy job of intelligence created problems for all member states."
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