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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 November 2004, 12:35 GMT
Should Iran suspend its nuclear programme?
An worker at Iran's Isfahan nuclear, UCF, facility
Iran has not yet completed suspension of its uranium enrichment programme, says the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The report by Mohamed El Baradei comes as the UN agency meets in Vienna to discuss the country's compliance.

Tehran agreed to halt its enrichment programme last week but has asked for an amendment to the terms of last week's deal to allow continued research.

However, France, Germany and Britain who helped bring about the original suspension, have reportedly refused permission.

Should Iran be given more time to suspend its uranium enrichment programme? Are you concerned about Iran's nuclear research programme? What should the UN do?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we received:

Iran has two alternatives, scrap your nuclear weapons program and be invaded or develop and/or possibly test a nuclear weapon and everyone stays well clear. Iraq is proof of the former and North Korea proof the latter is true. We now live in a world where 'might is right'
Dylan, London UK

Given Iraq was attacked for no good reason except regime change, the only way to hold America at bay is through a nuclear deterrent. I have no wish to see Iran become a nuclear power but Bush's doctrine of pre-emptive strikes has given them no other option.
Andy, UK

I cannot tolerate seeing the same thing happening to us as happened in Iraq
Mohammad S., Canada
I am an Iranian and I don't like and don't trust the hardliners in power in Iran. But I hate their counter-parts in US even more and I cannot tolerate seeing the same thing happening to us as happened in Iraq. Our move toward democracy was halted once before by US (the coup of 1953) and I think we deserve to do anything, including developing nuclear weapons, to prevent such a thing from happening again.
Mohammad S., Canada

I can't see any reason why they should be barred from pursuing these technologies. Only one nation on earth has ever used a nuclear device and I don't see the rest of the planet clamouring for them to give them up.
Pete, Cambridge UK

Why another Muslim country? Hasn't this crusade gone too far and when will the Muslim leaders wake up? The UN should try speaking to defiant Israel!
Mullah Hafeezud Din, Birmingham, UK

The only solution is to destroy their capability
Chris, US

Countries that promote and export terrorism should not be allowed to pursue nuclear weapons technology. It is as simple as that. Simply because some rogue states have nuclear weapons doesn't mean all should. And if you think the US exports terrorism, you must be reflexively anti-American or simply uninformed. How many Americans (or any other Westerners) have you seen chanting "Death to Iran"? Having said all that, it is painfully obvious the Iranians will never give up their program, and they have proved that they will lie through their teeth to circumvent the UN. The only solution is to destroy their capability. It's simply a matter of time.
Chris, US

No. Iran should not have nuclear weapons. It seems that the majority of the people on this board can't see the long term consequences of this. You all just don't understand. The implications this could cause are tremendous. We have North Korea right next door. We don't need another in the Middle East.
Tsutomu, Yokohama, Japan

Why the double standard?
Samuel T, Canada
Iran has as much right to nuclear weapons as any other country. I don't see the EU and US demanding to inspect Israel's nuclear facilities. Why the double standard?
Samuel T, Canada

To Samuel T of Canada: There is no double-standard. Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; Israel is not.
Lawrence, San Francisco

Given a choice I would trust Iran more than the neo cons sitting in Washington. Iran has never in the past given any indication that it had any aggressive intent towards any of its neighbouring countries. And it has reasons to be worried about its security with neighbours like Israel and Iraq where more than a 100,000 US troops are based.
R. Venugopal, Delhi, India

The Iranians would be crazy to abandon their nuclear programme. In the end the world would be a safer place and there would be greater justice, if powers are balanced in the Middle East. I personally hope they get their nukes.
Jose R. Pardinas, Miami, USA

Iran has every right to defend itself. The USA has already hinted that it has plans to invade so what option does Iran have other than to develop the weapons necessary for its defence against an unprovoked attack by superpower?
Peter, Welwyn, England

Iran should pull out of this agreement
Fari Jannati, Leeds, UK
I think Iran should pull out of this agreement which was signed by the previous foreign elected regime(s) and put a stop to this charade of double standards and nepotism.
Fari Jannati, Leeds, UK

Iran must suspend its nuclear programme, and stop considering it prestigious to be a nuclear power. It should endeavour to come out with its abilities to make progress like Scandinavian countries and bring prosperity to its poor masses rather then become a nuclear power and then roar in the United Nations to impose its demands.
Agha Ata, Houston, USA

Iran has all the rights to a more advanced and complete uranium enrichment programme. Iran is the most democratic regime in the Middle East, hence it poses no threat whatsoever to its immediate neighbours.
Akbar, Ontario

If it is okay for Israel to have nuclear weapons and the US is building and designing hand grenade size bombs then I see no problem with Iran having nuclear weapons.
Frank John, Burlington Canada

If countries such as North Korea, Israel and Pakistan have Nuclear weapons programmes how can the International community (America in particular) have the audacity to threaten Iran into submission. Until these double standards cease to exist, Iran should continue with its nuclear programme.
G, Herts

The only way to ensure their security is to have a suitable deterrent
James, Newcastle, UK
Ending the WMD programmes will not prevent invasion from a hostile foreign power. The only way to ensure their security is to have a suitable deterrent. Their neighbours Iraq scrapped their WMD programmes and soon as they were suitably defenceless they were invaded. No state rogue or otherwise will now believe that complying with UN resolutions or appeasing a more powerful enemy will prevent attack. The USA's policy of 'Might is Right' is now to be cascaded throughout the world.
James, Newcastle, UK

Iran having nuclear weapons is no scarier than Blair or Bush having them, if a nuclear war starts then every country in the world will suffer massive losses. Either in the explosions, the radiation, the climate change, the complete collapse of their economy or any of the other consequences. If a militant group manages to get hold of one, do they think America would not retaliate?
Chris, UK

If I were an Iranian, I would be thinking we must develop a nuclear weapon somehow, otherwise it's only a matter of time before we are invaded. Once we have our weapon no one will dare. One way or another we have to have one.
Terry M, Walton surrey

Iran is probably afraid of suffering the same fate as Iraq, and view a nuclear arsenal as the only effective deterrent against a US-led invasion. I don't believe they are enriching uranium for any other purpose (including energy). It is hardly coincidental that North Korea also has a nuclear programme, as both countries are on George W Bush's list of rogue states, coined the "Axis of Evil". Ironically, by bolstering their defences, the US will interpret them as the aggressors. Perhaps Iran feels it has nothing to lose.
Andy Bird, Cheshire, UK

Well, if they want to keep The American "democracy" away, then they should have a nuclear weapon as fast as possible, Bush still has 4 years to finish his project.
Ahmad, Jordan

There are legitimate reasons to pursue Nuclear energy, but when it pushes your nation to the brink of war it may be time to drop the research. The fact that the Iranian government is so uncooperative with the international community, not on this but on virtually every issue brought before it, is concern enough. In my view, Iran is run by a belligerent theocracy that has done everything within its power to alienate itself from the rest of the world, God help the citizens of Iran if their leadership keeps this up.
Philip, Ottawa, Canada




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