Ahmadinejad Says He Won’t Renounce Right to Nuclear Technology. Lula Backs Him

Lula receives Ahmadinejad in BrasÀ­lia The Iranian program of nuclear energy was supported today, November 23, by the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Brazilian capital BrasÀ­lia. He argued that the enriched uranium production in his country conforms to international norms and denied that Iran is a threat to peace or has plans to manufacture nuclear weapons.

According to Ahmadinejad, the Iranian nuclear plant was built more than 40 years ago and works with 20% enriched uranium. According to him, Iran has the capacity to produce this kind of fuel, but these days is producing only 3.5% enriched uranium.

Due to the international community's distrust, which raises suspicions that Iran's nuclear program is being developed to produce atomic bombs, Ahmadinejad affirmed that, he recently agreed to buy the fuel from the United States  and Russia. According to him, there was an offer to exchange 3.5% enriched uranium to the 20% type, necessary for Iran's plant.

"In principle, we agreed with the plan. Suddenly, however, we noticed that they were using this as propaganda against us and saying that we wanted to enrich that uranium to 25%. This propaganda sparked some negative feeling in Iran," said the Iranian president.

According to Ahmadinejad, the charges undermined the credibility of the negotiations, since Iran already has the needed technology to conduct the uranium enrichment to 25% and it would be avoiding using this capacity, in an attempt to strengthen its relationship with the West.

He also reasserted that he has no intention of abdicating his right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. "We won't renounce our legal rights," he stated.

The Iranian president said he has been victims of accusations that he would be preventing the inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), an organ linked to the United Nations, which he says conducts frequent inspections in his country's nuclear plants. The Iranian leader also stated that he had previously answered six questions sent him by the IAEA.

"The agency, then, approved the answers and delivered the documents attesting to the Iranian program legality," the president claimed. Despite all of this, according to him, the George W. Bush administration looked for new excuses to antagonize his country.

In the speech he delivered, alongside Ahmadinejad, Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that he supports the Iranian nuclear program for peaceful purposes.

According to him, Iran has the same right as Brazil to enrich uranium to use in its atomic plant. "Brazil has a nuclear energy development model recognized by the UN's agency. What we defend for ourselves, we also defend for other countries", said Lula. Brazil has two atomic energy plants: Angra I and Angra II.

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