Saturday, February 20, 2010

Islam opposes nuclear weapons : Khamenei

Updated on : Saturday, February 20, 2010

TEHRAN: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is reiterating a previous claim that Islam is "opposed to nuclear weapons," insisting that Tehran is not trying to build them. Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is also calling a leaked report that Tehran is working to build a nuclear warhead "baseless."

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei christened a new, Iranian-built warship, as a military band honored him on the ship's deck. Addressing a crowd of military commanders after the ceremony, he told them "Islam is opposed to nuclear weapons and that Tehran is not working to build them."

Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna indicated earlier Friday that Tehran had informed the new IAEA director Yukiya Amano that it had started enriching 20 percent grade uranium for its medical research reactor in Tehran.

"Even if the nuclear agency would continue for ten more years, the result would be the same," he said. "If a new director general comes, again, [he] will report the same, because we are absolutely sure and we have assured the international community that all are activities are exclusively for peaceful purposes."

Ambassador Soltaniyah added that a leaked report claiming Tehran was trying to build a nuclear warhead is "baseless," because the documents have "no confidential or secret stamps." The West, he argued, is trying to distort the nature of Iran's nuclear program for political purposes.

"Our advice is, in fact, to stop [these] political challenges and debates in the IAEA. Let the IAEA begin new director general to focus on their purely technical and professional work," he said.

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