AFP: Iran’s hardline-controlled parliament voted through a bill Sunday that obliges the government to “guarantee” the Islamic republic’s production of its own nuclear fuel, the subject of international fears the country is seeking the bomb. AFP
TEHRAN – Iran’s hardline-controlled parliament voted through a bill Sunday that obliges the government to “guarantee” the Islamic republic’s production of its own nuclear fuel, the subject of international fears the country is seeking the bomb.
The bill, entitled “acquiring nuclear technology for peaceful purposes” and passed by 188 out of 205 MPs present in the 290-seat assembly, is the latest move by right-wingers seeking to send a defiant message in the face of international demands that Iran abandon sensitive nuclear activities.
Iran insists its bid to master the full nuclear fuel cycle, including uranium enrichment, is merely aimed at generating electricity. But the process can also be used for military purposes.
Deputies had already begun voting on the bill in October 2004, and it has been largely seen as a symbolic and defiant piece of legislation rolled by deputies at moments of tension in their government’s negotiations with Britain, France and Germany on the nuclear issue.
After the vote, deputies in the Majlis broke out into chants of “Death to America”.
The text made no mention of when Iran should end its suspension of fuel cycle activities agreed to with the so-called EU-3 in November 2004.
According to the text of the bill, read out in a debate carried live on state radio, “the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is obliged… to provide the nation with peaceful nuclear technology, including guaranteeing the fuel cycle, to produce 20,000 megawatts of atomic electrity.”
It calls on the government to achieve this by working “within the the framework of the NPT and international laws, to use scientists, researchers and international and domestic facilities and also pursue the implemenation of the commitment of the IAEA and of countries which posses the technology towards the members of the NPT.”
The bill is subject to the approval of the hardline-controlled Guardians Council, a political watchdog that screens all laws.