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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 September, 2003, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
Iranian media reject nuclear ultimatum
Iranian press review graphic

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution requiring Iran to prove it is not pursuing a secret nuclear programme by 31 October has provoked an angry response in the Iranian media.

Iranian observers were unanimous in arguing that the UN watchdog was not acting in good faith, but responding to pressure from the West - in particular, the US.

A commentator on Iranian state radio said the resolution ignored a report by IAEA chief Mohamed El Baradei on Iran's co-operation with the agency.

"It proves that Western countries are exerting pressure simply for their own political ends and without seeing Iran's co-operation with IAEA," the commentator said.

The West's aim, he added, is to put a brake on Iran's technological and economic development by preventing it from using nuclear power for peaceful purposes.

"Western countries simply want to act on the basis of their own interests and prevent the legitimate activity of other countries in the nuclear domain."

Some, such as the centre-right daily Entekhab, directly blame the US for the IAEA ultimatum, which may lead to Iran being declared in breach of the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"This will be the result of months of efforts by the United States to apply pressure on the international community to impose sanctions against Tehran," the paper says.

A report on Iranian state TV went even further, arguing that the IAEA decision proves it is guided by US policy.

"In truth, the meeting of the IAEA's board of governors was a negative turning point which has transformed this agency from a neutral supervisor to an organisation under the influence of America's political wishes."

However, Tehran will remain defiant in the face of what it sees as attempts to deny Iran the right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology, the TV added.

"This nation and the Islamic establishment will not allow the world's bullying and hegemonic powers to stop Iran's scientific development and the improvement of its general condition."

The hard-line Jomhuri-ye Eslami sees only one way to resist US pressure.

"The political and illegal treatment of Iran's peaceful nuclear programme by America and European countries has proven the bitter truth that, in today's world, the only way for countries wishing to maintain their independence to survive is to become powerful."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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