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

Environmental

Italian Shipbuilder Pleads Guilty to Environmental Crimes

An Italian shipping firm based in Genoa, Italy, pleaded guilty to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by falsifying required ships’ documents to hide

K Line to Expand Use of Eco-efficiency Software

Three further K Line vessels to install ClassNK-NAPA GREEN eco-efficiency software after reporting fuel savings during trials on an 8,600 TEU container vessel   NAPA

LR Supports Chinese Recycling Yards' EU Application

LR’s initial verification of the Ship Recycling Facility Plans for both Zhoushan Changhong International Ship Recycling Co. Ltd. and Jiangyin Xiagang Changjiang

Energy

BP Faces Heavy Hit from Former Prized Asset Rosneft

BP faces a first and heavy loss from its stake in Russia's Rosneft due to plummeting oil prices and a crumbling rouble, potentially forcing it to write down the value of its once-prized asset.

Libyan State Oil Firm NOC Will Remain Independent

Libya's Tripoli-based state firm National Oil Corp (NOC) will remain independent, it said on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to reassure foreign oil buyers it will stay out of the country's conflict.

Oil Prices Retreat from Short-covering Rebound

Global crude prices fell more than $1 a barrel on Thursday, retreating from a short-covering charged rally as traders bet the market had not shaken off a six-month long rout on oversupply concerns.

News

River Bell Awards Acclaim Maritime 'Family'

The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) recognized two inland maritime industry leaders at an annual awards luncheon Thursday, December 11, 2014, in Paducah, Ky.   The

Great Lakes Coal Trade Slows in November

Coal shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 2.6 million tons in November, a decrease of 3 percent from a year ago, as shipments were affected by weather-related delays,

BP Faces Heavy Hit from Former Prized Asset Rosneft

BP faces a first and heavy loss from its stake in Russia's Rosneft due to plummeting oil prices and a crumbling rouble, potentially forcing it to write down the value of its once-prized asset.

People in the News

Bulker Chief Engineer Convicted of Environmental Crimes

A chief engineer from the M/V Trident Navigator was convicted by a federal jury in New Orleans late yesterday after a week-long trial, of knowingly falsifying the

Transpacific Container Shippers Plan Price Rise

A container shipping organisation urged companies on Wednesday to raise Asia-U.S. freight rates by at least $600 per 40-foot container (FEU) from Jan. 15, corresponding to an increase of 26.

DP World: Shareholders Back EZW buy, London Delisting

Shareholders of DP World have approved buying Economic Zones World from its majority shareholder and also backed the port operator's delisting from the London Stock Exchange,

Middle East

Libyan State Oil Firm NOC Will Remain Independent

Libya's Tripoli-based state firm National Oil Corp (NOC) will remain independent, it said on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to reassure foreign oil buyers it will stay out of the country's conflict.

Jackup Rig Delivered to Abu Dhabi’s NDC

Lamprell delivers its 11th Super 116E jackup drilling unit Lamprell has completed the construction of jackup drilling rig, the Shuwehat, and has delivered the

Captain, Officer of Containership Detained after Deadly Collision

The captain and first officer of a Kuwaiti container ship have been detained for four days after their ship collided with a fishing vessel in the Red Sea, killing 13 Egyptians,

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.1502 sec (7 req/sec)