AQ Khan backs Iran`s right to develop nuke weapons

Last Updated: Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 21:30

Islamabad: Disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan has backed Iran`s right to develop nuclear energy and said a propaganda campaign had been launched against that country`s atomic programme.
The West is biased against the nuclear programmes of all Islamic countries, including Iran, Khan claimed in an interview to the Iranian state-run Irna news agency.

"If Iran fires a missile then it is wrong, but if Israel does it then it is right," said Khan, who was placed under house arrested after he confessed in early 2004 that he had provided nuclear secrets to several countries, including Iran.

Khan claimed every action of the Muslim world is considered wrong by the West. He also claimed a majority of Muslim countries had "surrendered before the power of the
West, which is unfortunate".

Replying to a question about the proposal to send 70 percent of Tehran`s enriched uranium out of the country for further enrichment, Khan said Iran is an independent state and will make a decision on this issue while keeping in view its interests.

"However, the international scenario is such that the West is against Iran, and Muslims countries are so weak that they cannot help Iran," he claimed.

Khan said he believed there is no harm if Iran sends its uranium to other countries for further enrichment.

"At least, Iran could achieve nuclear capability which cannot be taken away and in future, Iran could use this capability according to its desires," Khan said.

Iran has faced three sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its refusal to freeze its uranium enrichment activities.

The country, a leading oil producer, denies it is seeking nuclear weapons and says it aim is to provide energy for its growing population when its reserves of fossil fuels run out.

Asked about restrictions imposed on his movement, Khan claimed the Lahore High Court had ordered authorities to remove these restrictions.

"I can go anywhere at my own choice," he claimed.

"I would be provided with security according to my needs and soon my lawyer will hold a meeting with the authorities concerned on the issue," he said.

The Islamabad High Court recently declared Khan a "free man" and authorities have eased some of the restrictions imposed on him following a secret understanding between the scientist and the government.

However, Pakistan has ruled out the possibility of foreign investigators being granted access to Khan.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 21:30

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