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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 September 2005, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Iranian president's UN speech
Mahmud Ahmadinejad

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has made a speech to the UN stating his country's "inalienable right" to produce nuclear energy.

He attacked Western governments for trying to create an "apartheid" system in peaceful nuclear technology.

The following are excerpts of the speech.


Today we have gathered here to exchange views about the world, its future and our common responsibilities towards it. It is evident that the future of the world is intertwined with its current state and the prevailing trends, which exhibit signs of hope and despair.

On the one hand certain hopes and opportunities exist, and this August the assembly is convened on such hopes...

We believe that all countries and nations are entitled to technological and scientific advancement in all fields, particularly the peaceful technology to produce nuclear fuel - such access cannot be restricted to a few
The prevalence of military domination, increasing poverty, the growing gap between rich and poor countries, violence as a means to solve crises, spread of terrorism, especially state terrorism, existence and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the pervasive lack of honesty in interstate relations, and disregard for the equal rights of peoples and nations in international relations, constitute some of the challenges and threats.

Although these challenges are very real, we believe we are not predestined to experience them. We can not only change this course but in fact can lead us to a life filled with hope and prosperity...

'Discriminatory approach

Can nations be deprived of scientific and technological progress through the threat of use of force and based on mere allegations of possibility of military diversion? We believe that all countries and nations are entitled to technological and scientific advancement in all fields, particularly the peaceful technology to produce nuclear fuel.

Such access cannot be restricted to a few, depriving most nations and by establishing economic monopolies, use them as an instrument to expand their domination. ..

Some powerful states practice a discriminatory approach against access of Non-Proliferation Treaty members to material, equipment, and peaceful nuclear technology, and by doing so intend to impose a nuclear apartheid. We are concerned that once certain powerful states completely control nuclear energy resources and technology, they will deny access to other states and thus deepen the divide between powerful countries and the rest of the international community...

What needs our particular attention is the fact that peaceful use of nuclear energy without possession of nuclear fuel cycle is an empty proposition.

Nuclear power plants can indeed lead to total dependence of countries and peoples if they need to rely for their fuel on coercive powers, who do not refrain from any measure in furtherance of their interests. No popularly elected and responsible government can consider such a situation in the interest of its people. The history of dependence on oil in oil-rich countries under domination is an experiment that no independent country is willing to repeat.

'Propaganda ploy'

Those hegemonic powers, who consider scientific and technological progress of independent and free nations as a challenge to their monopoly on these important instruments of power and who do not want to see such achievements in other countries, have misrepresented Iran's healthy and fully safeguarded technological endeavours in the nuclear field as pursuit of nuclear weapons.

This is nothing but a propaganda ploy. The Islamic Republic of Iran is presenting in good faith its proposal for constructive interaction and a just dialogue.

However, if some try to impose their will on the Iranian people through resort to a language of force and threat with Iran, we will reconsider our entire approach to the nuclear issue. Allow me, as the elected president of the Iranian people, to outline the other main elements of my country's initiative regarding the nuclear issue:

  • 1. The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates its previously and repeatedly declared position that in accordance with our religious principles, pursuit of nuclear weapons is prohibited.

  • 2. The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that it is necessary to revitalise the NPT and create the above-mentioned ad-hoc committee so that it can combat nuclear weapons and abolish the apartheid in peaceful nuclear technology.

  • 3. Technically, the fuel cycle of the Islamic Republic of Iran is not different from that of other countries which have peaceful nuclear technology.

    Therefore, as a further confidence-building measure and in order to provide the greatest degree of transparency, the Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to engage in serious partnership with private and public sectors of other countries in the implementation of uranium enrichment programme in Iran. This represents the most far-reaching step, outside all requirements of the NPT, being proposed by Iran as a further confidence building measure.

  • 4. In keeping with Iran's inalienable right to have access to a nuclear fuel cycle, continued interaction and technical and legal cooperation with the IAEA will be the centrepiece of our nuclear policy. Initiation and continuation of negotiations with other countries will be carried out in the context of Iran's interaction with the agency. With this in mind, I have directed the relevant Iranian officials to compile the legal and technical details, of Iran's nuclear approach, based on the following considerations:

  • 4.1. International precedence tells us that nuclear fuel-delivery contracts are unreliable and no legally binding international document or instrument exists to guarantee the delivery of nuclear fuel. On many occasions such bilateral contracts have either been suspended or stopped altogether for political reasons. Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran, in its pursuit of peaceful nuclear technology, considers it within its legitimate rights to receive objective guarantees for uranium enrichment in the nuclear fuel cycle.

  • 4.2. In its negotiations with the EU, Iran has tried in earnest to prove the solid and rightful foundations of its nuclear activity in the context of the NPT, and to establish mutual trust. The selection of our negotiating partners and the continuation of negotiations with the EU will be commensurate with the requirements of our cooperation with the agency regarding non-diversion of the process of uranium enrichment to non-peaceful purposes in the framework of the provisions of the NPT. In this context, several proposals have been presented which can be considered in the context of negotiations...

  • 4.3. The discriminatory approaches regarding the NPT that focuses on the obligations of state-parties and disregards their rights under the Treaty should be discontinued. .. My country will interact and cooperate constructively with the international community to face the challenges before us.




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