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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 September, 2004, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Iranian press abuzz over nuclear standoff
Iranian press graphic

The increasing tension between Tehran and the international community over Iran's wish to enrich uranium for what it says is a peaceful nuclear purpose generates intense debate in the country's press.

Some newspapers are defiant, urging the government to reject pressure and proceed with a process which they consider vital for national development.

Others examine the domestic politics of the nuclear issue, with one commentator suggesting different factions are using it to gain political advantage. And an MP is quoted by one paper as calling for sanctions against Britain for its stance on the issue.

'Resistance'

The hard-line Jomhuri-ye Eslami does not mince words: "Our powerful stance will undermine the weakness of the Western camp even further."

It describes the nuclear case as "this national issue", saying it enjoys "total support among the people and involves a right that cannot be forsaken".

It adds: "Now that we have advanced in every field and reached self-sufficiency in some of them, and, in the nuclear-energy sector, have joined the global atomic club, resistance will definitely be easier."

MP Gholamreza Mesbahi-Moqaddam, quoted in Iran, singles out Britain for its role in the promulgation of the latest IAEA ultimatum.

Once again the politicians are proved wrong and the IAEA resolution against Iran has been passed
Aftab-e Yazd

"We shall submit a proposal to the Majlis [parliament] on imposing economic sanctions on Britain. It would be better if we were to impose trade sanctions against Britain," he is quoted as saying.

The conservative Hemayat believes that Tehran had been enjoying "effective co-operation with the IAEA inspectors", adding that "no country should be allowed to threaten Iran's security".

It warns that Iran could be forced to consider drastic action to defend itself in the face of "American-Israeli threats".

The reformist Aftab-e Yazd examines the domestic politicking surrounding the issue, attacking politicians who are seeking to turn the nuclear issue to their own advantage.

"Once again the politicians are proved wrong and the IAEA resolution against Iran has been passed."

"Both currents are ultimately seeking to prove one thing, that is: 'Whatever success - if it does indeed exist - is thanks to us. All the defeats are merely due to American plots!'."

The moderate Mardom Salari also looks at the domestic debate, speaking out against "those who want Iran to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty".

"Ultimately, the difficult and sensitive work of diplomacy should be pursued," it recommends.

'Peaceful'

A comment in the reformist Etemaad points to fears within the country over the latest IAEA move, warning that "experts believe the issue could pose a danger for Iran".

Will the volcano, spurred by the repercussions of the nuclear file issue, erupt again?
Baghdad's al-Zaman

The hard-line Kayhan calls for a "fundamental review of future tactics and existing strategy".

It believes that overall issue should have been resolved by now to allow the Iranians "to have been able to resume our peaceful [nuclear] activities."

Meanwhile, the issue also attracts comment in neighbouring Iraq. "Iran is located in an area of tension, living on the slope of a frequently erupting volcano," says Baghdad's al-Zaman.

"Will the volcano, spurred by the repercussions of the nuclear file issue, erupt again, this time in Iran itself, or will it weather the crisis?" the Baghdad paper asks.

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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