By Parisa Hafezi
- Iran is determined to press ahead with its atomic programme even
if its nuclear dossier is sent to the U.N. Security Council for
possible sanctions, a leading cleric said on Friday.
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told worshippers at Friday prayers in
Tehran that possible U.N. sanctions on Iran would make the Islamic
republic stronger than ever.
"Iran will never yield to international pressure to abandon
its home-grown nuclear technology," said Jannati, who heads
Iran's hardliner Guardian Council -- a powerful, unelected
"Americans should know that it is just impossible. You
will take this wish to the grave," Jannati said.
The United states and some other countries accuse Iran of pursuing
nuclear arms under cover of a civilian atomic program. Iran denies
this, saying its ambitions are peaceful.
"We have no intention of pursuing nuclear weapons," he
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has urged Iran to
stop its uranium enrichment program and threatened to take Iran to
the U.N. Security Council for possible economic sanctions at its
November meeting if Tehran continued to ignore the call.
Although Iran promised Britain, Germany and France last year it
would freeze all enrichment-related activities, it has begun
processing raw uranium to prepare it for enrichment, a process
that can be used to make a nuclear bomb.
In a move diplomats said could lead to Russia backing the U.S.
drive to send Iran to the U.N. Security Council, a source close to
a deal to smooth the launch of the Russian-built $800 million
Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran said Moscow may call off next
month's planned signing of the accord.
The deal would pave the way for Russia and Iran to start up the
plant after years of delays.
In a speech broadcast live on state radio, Jannati said Iran had
no fear of sanctions since it was familiar with those imposed by
the United States on the country.
"Americans should know that implementing sanctions by the
security Council will make us stronger," Jannati told
worshippers at Tehran University campus.
Washington slapped a trade and investment embargo on Iran in 1995,
which among other things prevents U.S. companies from investing in
OPEC's second-largest producer or trading in Iranian oil.
"Such sanctions enabled us to build our Shahab-3
missile," Jannati said, referring to Iran's medium-range
ballistic missile which military experts say could strike Iran's
arch-foe Israel or U.S. bases in the Gulf.
Iran and the United States have not had diplomatic relations since
hardliner students stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took
hostage 52 Americans for 444 days after the 1979 Islamic
revolution which toppled the U.S.-backed Shah.
Story taken from Iranfocus.com