Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Russia is Tehran’s first choice to participate in the construction of Iran’s second nuclear power plant.
“The Russian Federation is the first priority for the construction of the new nuclear power plant in Iran,” Salehi told reporters in Moscow on Tuesday.
“Under a 1992 Iran-Russia agreement, we have agreed to build nuclear power plants with a capacity of up to 5,000 megawatts in cooperation with Russia,” he said.
Salehi noted that the country’s current facility in Bushehr produces up to 1,000 megawatts of electricity, which leaves the country with 4,000 megawatts of nuclear-sourced electricity to be generated by new power plants.
The minister noted that the Islamic Republic seeks to achieve a capacity of 20,000 megawatts before long.
Salehi also hailed the mutual understanding between Tehran and Moscow for the implementation of the 1992 agreement on cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy, expressing hope that the two sides would soon start the construction of the second unit of the Bushehr power plant.
The Bushehr plant was originally scheduled for completion in 1999.
However, the project was repeatedly delayed by the Russian side due to intense pressure exerted on Moscow by the United States and its western allies.
In September 2011, the Bushehr nuclear power plant officially began operation, generating electricity at 40 percent of its capacity.
The plant, which is operating under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, reached its maximum power generation capacity for the first time on August 30, 2012.
Iran and Russia have assured the international community that the plant is fully compliant with high-level safety standards and IAEA safeguards.
Salehi visited Moscow to attend the 10th annual meeting of the Russian-Iranian Business Council (RIBC). The two-day meeting began in the Russian capital on February 11.
The RIBC was set up in 2006 and the two countries have signed documents for expanding economic cooperation in various fields such as nuclear energy, oil, gas, industry and tourism.
Space Ties With Russia
Salehi also said Iran intends to develop space cooperation with Russia. “We hope that cooperation with Russia will help to further our achievements in this area,” he said.
Salehi praised Iran as the only country ‘out of 57 Islamic states that produces and launches satellites’.
In January, Iran launched a bio-capsule with a live monkey into space, which reached an altitude of more than 120 km and returned to Earth safely.
Full Cooperation With IAEA
In a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday, the foreign minister said that the Islamic Republic has always fully cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Salehi said that Iran has always cooperated with the IAEA and that IAEA inspectors had an ‘unprecedented’ record number of visits to Iran’s nuclear facilities ‘in the history of the agency’.
The minister added that the IAEA inspectors had carried out over 7,000 man-hours of inspections of Iranian facilities.
Salehi said the inspections were carried out abruptly as the inspectors announced the site of their visits two hours before the inspections began.
He also rejected claims that Iran did not allow IAEA inspections of Parchin military site, saying that Parchin was ‘not a nuclear site’. The Parchin site has been inspected once before and a framework is needed for a next visit to the site, Salehi stated.
Pointing to a delegation of the IAEA that arrived in Tehran on Wednesday for a new round of talks with Iranian officials, he said the delegation would also discuss the aforementioned framework.
The United States, the Israeli regime, and some of their allies have falsely accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation and argues that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Speaking to reporters, Salehi said the Islamic Republic and Argentina remain committed to a recent memorandum of understanding (MoU) they signed to investigate the 1994 deadly bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.
“We signed a memorandum of understanding with Argentina to resolve the AMIA (Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina or the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) case and both sides remain committed to its contents,” Salehi told the news conference in Moscow.
“This MOU sets the base for our handling of the AMIA file,” he added.
“Nineteen years have passed since the AMIA incident. Over this time, huge efforts have been undertaken to close the dossier,” said Salehi.
He hoped that the MoU would help shed light on this old file.
On January 27, Salehi and his Argentinean counterpart, Hector Timerman, signed a MoU for the two countries to shed light on the 1994 bombing on the AMIA building in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.
The Israeli regime reacted angrily to the deal a day after it was signed. “We are stunned by this news item and we will want to receive from the Argentine government a complete picture as to what was agreed upon because this entire affair affects Israel directly,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Yigal Palmor, said on January 28.
In a statement on January 30, however, the Argentinean Foreign Ministry said Israel’s demand for explanation over the agreement, described by Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez as ‘historic’, was an ‘improper action that is strongly rejected’.
Under intense political pressure imposed by the US and Israel, Argentina had formally accused Iran of having carried out the bomb attack. The Islamic Republic has categorically denied any involvement in the terrorist bombing.
UNSC Under Domination Of Few Governments
It is not acceptable that the United Nations and the Security Council which are supposed to represent all nations and their decision making process is to be based on the most popular and democratic methods are dominated by a few countries and serve their interests and wishes.
Essentially, in a world where thought, culture and public opinion is the determining factor, the continuation of the present situation is impossible and fundamental transformation is an unavoidable necessity.
In my opinion, several important agendas are before us which can be a guide for the Secretary General and the General Assembly of the United Nations to plan their actions and initiate their course.
Improving the structure of the United Nations and transforming it into an updated, popular institution that is impartial, free, just and effective in global relations; improving the structure of the Security Council and abolishing the discriminatory special advantage veto power, immediately insuring the complete fulfillment of Palestinian rights by holding free referendums and preparing the grounds for the peaceful coexistence of Muslims, Christians and Jews of Palestine, ending interferences in the affairs of Iraq and Afghanistan, Middle East, African nations, Latin America, Asia and Europe.
Improving economic structures and establishment of ethical and humane economic relations in the world in a manner that serves the exaltation of humanity and is based on true justice. One that helps flourish the talents and capabilities of nations and endows prosperity on all and guarantees the lives of future generations.
Improving international political relations, establishing relations based on lasting peace and friendship, ending the destructive arms race and political competitions, nuclear, chemical and biological disarmament and preparing the grounds for general utilization of advanced peaceful technologies for the betterment of humanity.
Improving cultural structures, respecting indigenous habits and customs, promoting ethics and morality and strengthening the warm, lasting and prosperous institution of family as the building block of a prosperous society.
Public commitment to the preservation of environment and adhering to global rules and regulations in order to prevent the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources.
Unfair Structure of UN
The cause of the United Nation’s ineptitude is in its unjust structure. Major power is monopolized in the Security Council due to the veto privilege, and the main pillar of the Organization, namely the General Assembly, is marginalized.
In the past several decades, at least one of the permanent members of the Security Council has always been a party to the disputes. How could, therefore, one expect competence while both the judge and the prosecutor are a party to the dispute?
The veto advantage grants impunity to aggression and occupation; Had Iran enjoyed veto privilege, would the Security Council and the IAEA Director General have taken the same position in the nuclear issue?
The United Nations is the key center for coordinating the common global management. Its structure needs to be reformed in a manner that all independent States and nations be able to participate in the global governance actively and constructively.
The veto privilege should be revoked and the General Assembly should be the highest body and the Secretary-General should be the most independent official and all his positions and activities should be taken with the approval of the General Assembly and should be directed towards promoting justice and eliminating discrimination.
The Secretary-General should not come under pressure from powers and/or the country hosting the Organization for his stating the truth and administration of justice.
It is suggested that the General Assembly should, within one year and in the framework of an extraordinary session, finalize the reformation of the Organization’s structure.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has clear suggestions in this regard and stands ready to participate actively and constructively in the process.
Security Council Dominated by Slave Owners and Colonialists
Who are the ones dominating the Security Council which is ostensibly responsible to safeguard the international security?
It is as lucid as daylight that the same slave masters and colonial powers that once instigated the two world wars have caused widespread miseries and disorder with far-reaching effects across the globe since then.
Do these arrogant powers really have the competence and ability to run or govern the world, or is it acceptable that they call themselves as the sole defender of freedom, democracy, and human rights, while they militarily attack and occupy other countries?
Can the flower of democracy blossom from NATO’s missiles, bombs or, guns?
If some European countries still use the Holocaust, after six decades, as the excuse to pay fine or ransom to the Zionists, should it not be an obligation upon the slave masters or colonial powers to pay reparations to the affected nations?
If the damage and losses of the period of slavery and colonialism were indeed compensated, what would happen to the manipulators and behind-the-scene political powers in the United States and in Europe?
IRGC Will Firmly Respond to Anti-Unity Moves
Iran’s Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps (IRGC) has pledged a firm response to any moves to undermine the unity of the Iranian nation.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the IRGC said that any anti-unity action that would provide a basis for deviant and enemy media hypes is considered collaboration with the enemy and calls for firm reaction.
Warnings about the moves against the unity of the Iranian nation have been sounded by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the statement added.
The statement also hailed the Iranian nation’s high turnout in the nationwide rallies on February 10 to mark the 34th anniversary of the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The IRGC said that global arrogance and those opposing the Islamic Republic need to abolish their hostile policies against the country and submit to Iran’s dignity and power since they are unable to confront the Iranian nation.
Caution Against Rising Global Poverty
A senior Iranian official has warned of rising poverty in the world, saying that the ongoing global financial crisis is taking its toll on the more vulnerable strata of the people in various countries.
During the 51st Session of the UN Commission for Social Development (UNCSD) in New York on Tuesday, Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gholam-Hossein Dehqani warned about the increase in the number of people living in absolute poverty, Press TV reported.
The official said economic crises have led to an increase in food and fuel prices, negative social development, and job losses, leaving around 900 million people hungry across the world.
Dehqani also warned about the rising inequality in the world, saying that the gap between the rich and the poor has reached an alarming rate.
The comments come as the UN Development Program (UNDP) praised Iran’s important role in South-South Cooperation, an initiative that calls on developing countries to work together to find solutions to the common challenges facing them.
“According to the UNDP report, the Islamic Republic of Iran has played a significant role in South-South Cooperation by exchanging knowledge, technology, and scientific research and education at regional and international levels,” Dehqani said.
About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations which is one person every three and a half seconds. Unfortunately, it is children who die most often.
Yet there is plenty of food in the world for everyone. The problem is that hungry people are trapped in severe poverty. They lack the money to buy enough food to nourish themselves.
Being constantly malnourished, they become weaker and often sick.
This makes them increasingly less able to work, which then makes them even poorer and hungrier. This downward spiral often continues until death for them and their families.
Tremor Jolts Varzaqan
An earthquake measuring 4.1 on Richter scale jolted Varzaqan in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan on Wednesday.