Peaceful nuke energy stressed in Iran before talks (JERUSALEM POST) By JOANNA PARASZCZUK 05/23/12)
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With talks between Iran and the P5 +1 group countries – China,
France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US – regarding Iran’s nuclear
program set to resume in Baghdad on Wednesday, Iran’s state-run press
moved late on Tuesday to emphasize the country’s claims of “peaceful”
Late Tuesday evening, the Islamic Republic Broadcasting Agency
reported that Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) had announced
its nuclear experts had successfully supplied the country’s Tehran-
based research reactor with “two batches of homemade fuel.”
According to IRBA, the process “aims to ensure continued production
of radiopharmaceuticals and radioisotopes for the Tehran research
reactor,” and IAEO said it aimed to continue to deliver two packages
Throughout Tuesday, the Iranian media focused on Israel’s pre-summit
stance, on reports that Russia and Western European countries might
offer different proposals at the talks, and IAEA chief Yukiya Amano’s
announcement that a deal with Iran over inspections was close.
Iran’s state-owned Press TV accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
of “bullying” the P5 +1 countries when he declared on Monday that
Israel would only accept a total halt of Iranian nuclear enrichment.
The Tehran-based news outlet slammed Netanyahu’s position, and
claimed Israel possessed “up to 400 nuclear warheads.”
Meanwhile, on Tuesday afternoon Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency
said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine
Ashton, told its reporters on Tuesday that there were likely to be
two proposals offered at the Baghdad talks.
According to Fars, Western European states planned to present a “new
package” to Iran, different from that proposed by the Russia, which
it said indicated that P5 +1 members are divided on how to deal with
the Iranian nuclear issue.
While Fars’s Farsi-language site said the content of the two
different proposals remained unclear, its English-language portal
noted that Russia had previously called for a “step by step”
resolution to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear enrichment. Under a
proposal put forward by Russia in February, Moscow suggested that
Iran freeze the number of centrifuges for enrichment at current
levels and place restrictions on centrifuge use, Fars said.
Both Press TV and the Revolutionary Guardslinked Mashregh News
reported a speech by Iranian parliamentary chairman Ali Larijani, in
which he called on the P5 + 1 countries to “change their policies”
toward Iran during the Baghdad nuclear talks, and to “shun
Meanwhile, Mashregh reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak – whom
it refers to as the “Zionist Regime’s Minister of War” – had said
Israel was willing to accept an Iranian reduction in nuclear
enrichment to 3.5 percent.
Israel’s official position has always been that the Islamic Republic
must end all its enrichment activities, a stance Mashregh slammed
Mashregh said it had taken Barak’s comments from Yediot Aharonot and
that his statements could be interpreted as a compromise or as a new
policy to justify military action against Iran.
“The regime could claim that its efforts to achieve a deal [with
Iran] have been exhausted, and now military action is inevitable,”
Iran’s Tabnak website, which is closely associated with Mohsen
Rezaee, secretary-general of Iran’s Expediency Discernment Council,
cited Rezaee as saying the P5 + 1 countries are prepared to
give “concessions” to Iran, and while those concessions may not be
great, they would be the “first step in the right direction.”
A former chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Rezaee is
currently on Interpol’s wanted list for his alleged involvement in
the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires.
In Tuesday’s article, Rezaee said “steadfastness” of Iran’s Supreme
Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Iranian people are “bearing
fruit” and that with “careful negotiations,” Iran “can start to reap
the first fruits of that steadfastness.”
Meanwhile, Mashregh said Rezaee warned that Israel is trying to make
trouble ahead of the talks, “however, the ground has been laid for
Iran to gain points in the meeting, and we won’t give any excuse not
to achieve a positive outcome in the Baghdad talks.”
Coincidentally, May 23 – the date of the nuclear talks in Baghdad –
is a highly significant date in the history of the Islamic Republic.
On that day, 30 years ago, Iranian forces tasted their first victory
in their war with Iraq when they retook Khorramshahr using waves of
Revolutionary Guards and Basij fighters, in an operation dubbed “Beit
In a Tabnak article also on Tuesday, Rezaee said Iran’s enemies
wanted war, and to take Iran’s “confidence and dignity.”
“Our enemies wanted to crush and humiliate us, but Khorramshahr’s
liberation destroyed their hopes,” he said, according to Tabnak.
Rezaee made his remarks as the Iranian army prepares to stage
extensive war-games on Wednesday, to mark Khorramshahr’s liberation
and to practice new asymmetric war tactics, according to Iran’s army
commander Brig.-Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan.
Rezaee also posed the rhetorical question of whether “the Islamic
Republic is more dangerous than tens of US and Soviet nuclear bombs,”
and said some countries, especially Israel, wanted to upset Iran’s
Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, which is controlled by the
country’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, was upbeat about
the upcoming Baghdad talks in reports on Tuesday, but focused on
issues around the summit.
IRNA focused on Iraq’s role in the talks, and said Baghdad would play
a “major role in resolving regional issues.”
The news agency cited Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC)
secretary and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, who arrived in
Iraq Monday night, as saying that holding the talks in Iraq indicted
the country’s “peace, stability and security.”
IRNA reported that Jalili had held talks with Iraqi Prime Minister
Nouri al-Maliki on both regional and international matters. (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/23/12)
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