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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 January 2006, 19:45 GMT
Excerpts: Ahmadinejad conference

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has defended Iran's decision to resume nuclear research, but has denied that Tehran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

These are excerpts of his statement at the news conference in Tehran, and his replies to reporters' questions, as broadcast on Iranian TV.

A nation which has culture, logic and civilization does not need nuclear weapons. The countries which seek nuclear weapons are those which want to solve all problems by the use of force. Our nation does not need such weapons.

They ask us why we have started [nuclear] research. Our reply is that there is no limitation to research. There are no limits imposed on research in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty nor in the Additional Protocol. Nor have we made any such commitment.

They say openly that they are opposed to this research. By what right do you make such a statement? Is this not a fundamentalist medieval perspective? We believe that, unfortunately, despite their technological and scientific development, in certain parts of the world, several Western countries still have an ideological and intellectual perspective which belong to the medieval age.

Today, the language of hegemony, of force, of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is no longer applicable. These things are no longer effective in international dealings. Today, nations have awakened, and they will determine their own future.

We have adhered to international laws and continue to do so. Over 1,400 days of inspection have been carried out at our facilities - that is unprecedented.

We have put forward a proposal calling for the UN to set up a disarmament committee. But some countries hold a stick over our head during the negotiations, threatening to refer our case to the UN Security Council unless we bend to their will. Why do they tarnish the integrity of international institutions? Why do they force the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] to get involve with politics?

Our path is very clear. We shall continue with our activities within the regulations of the IAEA and the NPT. According to international law, Iran has the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. We are acting in the framework of the IAEA's regulations. Today, we are carrying out research. I should also say that our people will not accept that others should impose on us whatever they want. Our nation has a definite right to peaceful nuclear technology and will achieve it.

We are the only nation that has invited all others to come and join us. If you say that you do not trust us, you can come and become our partner. We are ready to become your partner in your [nuclear] technology. We can each supervise the other's activities. We can watch that you do not deviate towards nuclear weapons, and you can also become our partners and monitor our activities directly.

How do you justify this logic of having a full arsenal of nuclear weapons, but when it comes to nations such as ours, you do not even allow research? This logic cannot rule the world today. Even if the Security Council gets involved in this subject, it will not help solve the equation. We do not want to move in this direction. But those who insist on undermining our rights should know that this will not happen.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.


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