World must accept a nuclear-powered Iran: Larijani

April 13th, 2009 - 1:08 am ICT by IANS  

Tehran, April 12 (IANS) World powers must accept Iran as a nuclear power as it has mastered the technology of uranium enrichment, parliament speaker Ali Larijani said Sunday.
“Now the 5+1 has no reason to deny or refuse Iran’s nuclear technology and the expected negotiations will be based according to the rights mentioned in the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” Larijani said in a speech to parliament, the ISNA news agency reported.

His comments came after the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the US - plus Germany offered to hold direct talks with Iran over its nuclear programme.

The international community has called on Iran to halt its uranium enrichment programme, which the West, especially the US, believes is aimed at making atomic weapons, a charge Iran has denied strongly.

In his address to the parliament, Larijani also praised President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his strong commitment to carry on the country’s nuclear drive despite international pressure, sanctions and threats of more sactions.

“The persistence of President Ahmadinejad on Iran’s nuclear issue is admired by representatives of the nation in Majlis (parliament),” the official IRNA news agency quoted Larijani as saying.

He also said that mastering uranium fuel cycle by Iranian scientists was a “great victory for Iranians”.

On Thursday, Iran announced the opening of its first nuclear fuel plant and said it has tested two new high-capacity centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

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