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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK
Nuclear row worries Iran press
Iranian press graphic

The escalating row over Tehran's nuclear ambitions comes under intense scrutiny in the Iranian press.

President Mohammad Khatami on Tuesday rejected a draft resolution put before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) criticising Iran's lack of co-operation on nuclear inspections, accusing the IAEA of "violating" Iran's rights.

Iranian officials also accused Britain, France and Germany of submitting the draft under pressure from Washington, and these three countries come under attack in a number of dailies.

Malevolently influenced by the US, even the EU big three are inching towards a tougher stance on Iran's dossier.
Commentary in Tehran Times

The theme is taken up in the hardline Kayhan, which quotes a senior cleric, Ayatollah Hoseyn Nuri-Hamadani, as saying: "Unfortunately, over the nuclear energy issue, we trusted the colonialists [France, Germany and Britain] and today, these countries have lined up against us."

"Our people should refrain from trusting arrogant and colonialist countries in any way and should watch out for their sinister plans," the ayatollah adds.

'Vicious triangle'

A commentator in the English-language Tehran Times attacks what he sees as "the vicious triangle forming in Vienna".

"The United States is mounting pressure from all directions, from the European Union big three on one side and also from the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency... to draw Iran into a vortex of isolation.

"Iran has consistently insisted that its nuclear programme is meant for peaceful purposes and only seeks to gain access to nuclear energy. Now that Iran is about to be blessed with this technology, the nefarious powers that be are making every effort to hinder the progress and deprive the country.

"With soaring dissension in Vienna caused by US intrigues over Iran's nuclear dossier, Washington is gloating over the tough stance adopted by certain countries against Iran.

"Malevolently influenced by the US, even the EU big three are inching towards a tougher stance on Iran's dossier. On the one hand they are seeking to fish in Iran's troubled waters and on the other to prove themselves true servants of their old buddy," the commentator argues.

Iran should invest more extensively in nuclear energy and never worry about any adverse reaction
Judiciary official in Hemayat

Accusing IAEA chief Mohamed El-Baradei of "tailoring a plan to suit the US" and being "a wolf in sheep's clothing", he concludes: "One gets the feeling that one is reading a Shakespearean tragedy in which one has to be sacrificed so that others may survive and pursue their fiendish goals."

A similar view is expressed in the conservative Hemayat, which quotes leading judiciary official Mohammad Javad Larijani as saying the US, the IAEA, "and the Zionist regime have brought about the permanent death of the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.

"From now on, Iran should invest more extensively in the field of nuclear energy and nuclear technology and never worry about any adverse reaction to it."

A word of caution

However, the reformist Vaqaye'e Ettefaqiyeh recommends a non-confrontational approach, worrying the country will come off second best if "the Islamic Republic is America's next target".

It fears that going down the road of nuclear confrontation "would only serve to make Iran vulnerable".

"It would also harm relations between Iran and its neighbours in the Persian Gulf and might lead to the enforcement of all-round sanctions, thus intensifying Iran's economic and security problems.

Iran intends to obtain maximum concessions with the minimum of damage
Political observers in Etemaad

"And it would certainly pave the way for America's greater presence and show of strength in the region. This is exactly what Iranians want to avoid."

And the reformist Etemaad quotes political observers as saying Tehran is seeking to gain diplomatic leverage at the IAEA. "Iran intends to obtain maximum concessions with the minimum of damage and detract from its vulnerability.

"On the one hand, Iran is threatening the agency and the Europeans that it will break off relations and on the other, it is resorting to diplomacy," the observers are quoted as saying.

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.




SEE ALSO:
Nuclear agency admits Iran error
17 Jun 04  |  Middle East
US accuses Iran of 'bullying' UN
16 Jun 04  |  Middle East
Iran rejects more nuclear curbs
12 Jun 04  |  Middle East
Iran censured over nuclear probe
08 Jun 04  |  Middle East
Iran 'to press on with reactor'
07 Apr 04  |  Middle East
Iran agrees to nuclear timetable
06 Apr 04  |  Middle East
Nuclear inspectors return to Iran
27 Mar 04  |  Middle East
UN condemns Iran nuclear secrecy
13 Mar 04  |  Middle East
Q&A: Iran's nuclear programme
18 Dec 03  |  Middle East
Profile: IAEA
02 Jun 04  |  Country profiles


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