Iran

Iran not to forgo uranium enrichment: Top cleric

kazim sadiqA senior Iranian cleric says the Islamic Republic of Iran will not relinquish its entitlement to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, stressing that Tehran is against nuclear weapons.

“Uranium enrichment is our inalienable right. The use of peaceful nuclear technology to meet the medical and daily needs of the people is the right of all nations, including our nation, but the use of nuclear weapons is forbidden for all,” Tehran’s interim Friday Prayer leader Kazem Seddiqi said.

“We have not backed down in this issue (uranium enrichment) and will not do so and we consider the use of peaceful nuclear technology as our inalienable right,” he stressed.

The cleric went on to say that Iran is against the use and production of nuclear arms as it is forbidden by Islam, citing a fatwa by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on the prohibition of such weapons.

He noted that Tehran’s nuclear activities are under the constant supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Seddiqi further denounced the West’s sanctions against Iran over its nuclear energy program as “brutal, unilateral and unwarranted” as well as “inhumane and illegal,” and called for them to be lifted as a confidence-building measure in the course of nuclear negotiations.

The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and European Union using the claim as an excuse to impose illegal sanctions against Tehran. The bans come on top of four rounds of US-instigated UN Security Council sanctions against Iran under the same pretext.

Iran has categorically rejected the allegation, stressing that as a committed member of the IAEA and a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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