Iran Willing To Share Nuke Ability

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, right, listens to the head of supreme leader's office, Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, before leaving Tehran for New York to attend U.N General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2005.
AP
Iran is willing to provide other Islamic nations with nuclear technology, Iran's hard-line president said Thursday.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the comments after meeting Turkey's prime minister on the sidelines of a gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

Ahmadinejad repeated promises that Iran will not pursue nuclear weapons, IRNA reported. Then he added: "Iran is ready to transfer nuclear know-how to the Islamic countries due to their need."

Iran has said it is determined to pursue its nuclear program to process uranium and produce energy, despite European attempts to limit it. The United States accuses Tehran of secretly seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

Meanwhile, diplomats and government officials in Europe said a U.S.-European drive to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council is encountering fierce opposition and could be postponed despite deep international concerns about Tehran's nuclear agenda.

Just days before planned action on referral, the diplomats and officials told The Associated Press that the idea of giving Iran a deadline of several weeks to comply with international demands on its nuclear activities is gaining favor.

"It would not be a change in policy but a change in timing," said one European official about the possibility of delaying — but not withdrawing — the U.N. Security Council threat. There has been strong opposition from more than a dozen nations on the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency to a demand for referral at next week's board meeting.

The officials and diplomats — some in Vienna, others elsewhere in Europe — demanded spoke on condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the negotiations on what tack to take on Iran.

Their comments seemed to mirror indications from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Washington was prepared to delay again its drive for Security Council referral.

Rice last week appealed openly to China, Russia, India and other nations to support the United States in threatening Iran with sanctions for refusing to halt its nuclear program.

Russia quickly registered its opposition to trying to impose sanctions in the U.N. Security Council, and the White House acknowledged Wednesday that President Bush was unable to get a commitment from Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Ahmadinejad urged the U.N. not to bend to U.S. pressure.

"The raison d'etre of the United Nations is to promote global peace and tranquility," he told the General Assembly. "Therefore, any license for pre-emptive measures which are essentially based on gauging intentions rather than objective facts ... is a blatant contradiction to the very foundation of the United Nations and the letter and the spirit of its charter."