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Iran must remain firm on nuclear rights: Khamenei

Last Updated: Friday, September 11, 2009 - 18:39

Tehran: Iran`s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday Tehran must remain firm on its rights to nuclear power, as the EU charged the Islamic republic has avoided questions on its atomic activities.
"We must stand firm for our rights. If we give up our rights, whether nuclear or other rights, this will lead to decline (of the society)," said Khamenei, who has the final say in all national issues, during a Friday prayer address in Tehran.

"We will walk the path of decline if instead of using freedom for scientific and ethical progress, we use it to spread sin, instead of standing against arrogance, aggressors and international looters, we feel weak in front of them and retreat, and instead of frowning at them we smile at them."

Khamenei`s remarks come two days after Tehran handed over a new package of proposals to six world powers to help resolve the stalemate over its atomic drive.

The package was delivered to representatives of the United States, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany -- the nations tasked with persuading Iran to halt its uranium enrichment drive which they suspect is for making atomic weapons.

Tehran denies the charges and says its nuclear programme has peaceful goals.

A spokeswoman for the European Union`s foreign policy chief said on Friday Iran`s latest proposals do not answer key questions about its own nuclear programme.

"This does not provide an answer to the nuclear questions", said Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

"The document is more focussed on global questions than on nuclear ones," she added.

"Consultations continue" between the major powers involved in tackling Iran on its controversial nuclear programme, in order to forge "a coordinated response" she added.

The United States has also said the new offers from Iran are "not really responsive" to concerns about its nuclear program, dampening hopes for new talks aimed at breaking a three-year impasse.

France has also voiced scepticism. There`s nothing in the new document about suspending uranium enrichment," as the United Nations had called for, one French diplomat said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, September 11, 2009 - 18:39
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