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Iran unmoved by IAEA report: ‘Won’t budge an iota’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 9, 2011


A picture released by the official website of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's office shows him speaking in the city of Shahrekord at the start of his tour of Iran's Shaharmahal & Bakhtiari southwestern province on November 9, 2011 (AFP Photo / HO / Iranian Presidency)

Unsurprisingly, Iran has refused to alter anything in its nuclear program after the UN atomic watchdog alleged that it may be being used to develop a bomb. Iran’s opponents are calling for crippling sanctions against Tehran.

Tehran denied all the allegations even before the report was officially released, because leaks from it have been circulating since the start of the week. Iran says the report is politically motivated and based on false evidence cooked up by American intelligence services. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, a pawn of the US.

On Wednesday, President Ahmadinejad reiterated Iran’s position, saying its nuclear program would not “budge an iota” in the wake of the report. He reiterated that his country has no need for a nuclear bomb.

The IAEA said in a controversial appendix to the report that Iran may have been working on a nuclear weapon before 2003 and may be doing so now. No direct evidence of the allegations was presented.

Meanwhile, France has called a UN Security Council session to discuss a new round of sanctions against Iran. Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said in an interview that Paris wants tougher sanctions that “will be able to stop its nuclear weapons program.”

Washington is reportedly considering issuing further unilateral sanctions against Iran, according to the US media.

The EU’s Foreign Affairs chief Catherine Ashton said the report “greatly increases” the concern of the international community over the Iranian nuclear program.

China says it is studying the report and but has refrained from commenting on the allegations.

The release of the IAEA report follows several days of hyped media speculation over a possible attack on Iranian nuclear facilities by Israel. Several Israeli officials, including its defense minister, said the option of  military action is on the table.

On Wednesday, Iran’s deputy Chief of General Staff, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, said that if such an attack is carried out, Iranian retaliation would likely target the Israeli nuclear site in Dimona.

The General, who spoke to the Arabic-language channel Al-Alam, added that Iran’s response “would not be limited to the Middle East.”

@RT

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