Iranian President Calls For More Open, Better-Informed Nuclear Debate

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Sunday, May 11, 2014
President Hassan Rouhani

 

President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday he wanted Iran to do a better job of explaining its nuclear programme to prevent "evil-minded" people misleading world opinion, two days before Tehran resumes talks with world powers on its disputed atomic activity.

Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia will reconvene in Vienna to try to iron out differences over how to end a long standoff over suspicions that Tehran has sought the means to develop nuclear weapons.

Western powers have long demanded greater openness from Iran to address those concerns and head off the risk of a downward spiral towards a new Middle East war, with Israel threatening to attack its arch-foe if diplomacy does not rein it in.

"What we can offer the world is greater transparency," Rouhani, a relative moderate who replaced a conservative hardliner who antagonised the West - said in a speech at a ceremony celebrating Iran's scientific achievements.

In his remarks, Rouhani reiterated that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons and would never halt its atomic programme, which was for peaceful purposes. He also repeated a denial of Western charges that Iran has carried out any secret nuclear bomb work.

But along with achieving scientific progress, Rouhani added, Iran ought to develop its abilities in the legal, political and information realms to prevent "the enemy" making problems for its nuclear developments.

"If one engages in a technological endeavour but is not doing good legal and political work, then the enemy might come up with a fictional excuse to cause trouble for you," he said.

The Islamic Republic's leaders normally use the term "the enemy" to refer to theUnited States and Israel.

"If you don't have good public relations and are not able to communicate well, then you might find other evil-minded people misleading world public opinion," Rouhani said.

"So our effort today is to even out our efforts on multiple levels ... We don't want to retreat one step from our pursuit of technology, but we want to take a step forward on the political front."

His comments appeared to be a criticism of hostile statements from within the hardline conservative establishment, including his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who called U.N. resolutions against Iran on the nuclear dispute a "worthless piece of paper".

"RIGHT DIRECTION"

Ahmadinejad's strident rhetoric during his eight years in office on issues like the Holocaust and Israel served to shore up international resolve to curb Iran's nuclear programme.

Iran in January halted its most sensitive nuclear operations under a preliminary deal with world powers, winning some relief from painful economic sanctions that have damaged its oil-dependent economy by forcing a sharp reduction in crude exports.

Rouhani said Iran if it so chose could resume enrichment of uranium gas to a fissile purity of 20 percent - its most sensitive nuclear activity because it is a relatively short technical step away from the level required for nuclear weapons.

"We wanted to tell the world that our activities are moving in the right direction: If we say we can enrich to 3.5 percent, we can do it. If necessary we will do (it to) 20 percent," he said.

Iran agreed under its Nov. 24 deal to shelve enrichment to 20 percent. It has since diluted some of its 20 percent-enriched stockpile to a lower concentration and converted some into an oxide less suited to processing into bomb-grade material.

Iran has justified its 20 percent enrichment drive by saying it was meant to replenish the fuel supply of a Tehran medical research reactor. But Western officials are sceptical, saying Iran had refined far more than it required for such a purpose.

While Iran stopped 20 percent enrichment in January, it is allowed under the November pact to keep producing uranium refined to up to 5 percent, the level required for fuelling civilian nuclear power stations.

(Editing by William Maclean and Mark Heinrich)

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Italy Ending Med Sea Rescues

Rights groups warn of risk of more deaths; EU mission Triton will have more limited scope. Italy said on Friday it would close a sea rescue mission that has saved the lives of more than 100,

St. Lawrence Seaway Workers Extend Strike Deadline

The union that represents workers on the St. Lawrence Seaway, the waterway that links the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, has extended a strike deadline to Monday at 5 p.

Total CEO: EU Must Fight US Crude Export Law

First major public appearance of new Total head; he challenges European politicians to fight US ban. The new head of French energy major Total challenged Europe to fight Washington over the U.

Environmental

Equinox Class Scrubber Systems Receive Certification

Algoma Central Corporation (“Algoma”), the largest Canadian shipowner and operator of domestic Great Lakes vessels announces that it has received all requisite

MARAD Tests Alternative Power for Ships

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is testing state-of-the-art, environmentally efficient technology onboard the Training Ship (TS) Kennedy.   The National Defense

DNV GL Approvals for SAACKE Scrubbers

Classification increases planning certainty for exhaust gas scrubber operators.   The classification society DNV GL has certified the SAACKE exhaust gas scrubber

Energy

Arctic Oil: Bourbon to Enter Arctic Market in 2016

Bourbon plans to enter the growing Arctic Offshore market in 2016 with a new Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessel built by the Vard shipyard. This AHTS (Anchor

Libyan Government: Ports, Oil Fields Safe

Libyan oil ports and fields are safe and under government control, the country's interior minister said on Friday after visting the eastern Brega port. "This

China to Import 335 MT of Naphtha, Wants More

China is set to import more than 335,000 tonnes of naphtha and diesel, rare moves for the world's no. 2 oil consumer given it has been self-sufficient at meeting domestic oil product demand,

News

Equinox Class Scrubber Systems Receive Certification

Algoma Central Corporation (“Algoma”), the largest Canadian shipowner and operator of domestic Great Lakes vessels announces that it has received all requisite

Wärtsilä, Diesel United Renew Pact

Wärtsilä and Diesel United Ltd in Japan have signed a ten-year renewal of their co-operation agreement for the sale, manufacturing and servicing of Wärtsilä low-speed marine engines.

MARAD Tests Alternative Power for Ships

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is testing state-of-the-art, environmentally efficient technology onboard the Training Ship (TS) Kennedy.   The National Defense

People in the News

Equinox Class Scrubber Systems Receive Certification

Algoma Central Corporation (“Algoma”), the largest Canadian shipowner and operator of domestic Great Lakes vessels announces that it has received all requisite

MARAD Tests Alternative Power for Ships

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is testing state-of-the-art, environmentally efficient technology onboard the Training Ship (TS) Kennedy.   The National Defense

Libyan Government: Ports, Oil Fields Safe

Libyan oil ports and fields are safe and under government control, the country's interior minister said on Friday after visting the eastern Brega port. "This

Middle East

GAC Starts Hull Cleaning Op'ns in Oman

GAC EnvironHull hull cleaning operations using the brush-and-diver-free HullWiper system starting at the port of Sohar, just outside the Gulf of Hormuz. This

Iran Gas Exports to Europe Would Take at Least 5 Years

Iran would take at least five years to start exporting natural gas to the European Union if sanctions were removed, industry experts said on Wednesday. Last month,

DBR Delivers 42 Gensets to Damen

DBR has delivered the last units of an order totaling 42 marine generator sets for Damen Shipyards Gorinchem. The generator sets will be installed on 14 ASD tugs

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2400 sec (4 req/sec)