Khatami defends nuclear program
The former Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami, has weighed-in in defense of Iran's nuclear program. And he said on Friday that his country has no intention of making nuclear weapons.
Khatami made a speech at a symposium hosted by Tokyo's United Nations University. He said Iran had every right to develop a nuclear program to meet booming energy demands.
Khatami said:"Iran has no intention of making nuclear weapons. Japan depends on nuclear energy for more than 30 percent of its energy needs. The United States as well heavily depends on nuclear energy. I think utilizing this new technology is the right decision."
The former president also said the world requires sustainable peace built on rules fair to all parties. And that dialogue is the only way to achieve this.
He also reiterated his country's position on its nuclear program.
Khatami said:"Iran has never changed its stance for peace. The Iranian people have never wanted war. I think the only thing that changed after the inauguration of the new government was the way it expressed itself."
On Thursday, Khatami met with Japanese Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, to urge Japan to play an active role in resolving the nuclear deadlock through peaceful negotiation.
The international community has urged Iran to stop its uranium enrichment activities.
Iran has refused, saying it's enriching uranium as part of a nuclear program used only for energy production. But Western countries, led by the United States, accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb.