The following are excerpts from a press conference held by Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary-General Ali Larijani. The conference aired on the Iranian News Channel (IRINN) on February 1, 2006.
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Ali Larijani: "Some leaders, like the leader of America, often use the term 'atomic bomb' in their propaganda about Iran. He considers Iran's nuclear technology and research to be synonymous with a bomb. I don't know why Mr. Bush tells such a big lie. It is inappropriate for world leaders to tell such obvious lies.
"All Iran's nuclear activity is subject to the supervision of the IAEA and its inspectors, and no reasonable person would say that it is possible to manufacture nuclear weapons under such inspection. The problem is that some European countries believe that the Iranian people should not have nuclear knowledge. They do not say so in their propaganda, but they tell us this in closed meetings. They say: 'You must not have nuclear know-how and knowledge.' I ask them to say publicly what they say in closed meetings. They should say that they want to classify nations into two groups: One that should have nuclear knowledge and one that should not.
"They want to form a modern world order of masters and subjects. This is the truth. They do not want nuclear knowledge to improve the Iranian people's status. The rest is propaganda. They know that Iran is not pursuing [nuclear] weapons."
"Sanctions are the kind of thing they fear more than us. As soon as some European countries mentioned sanctions at the meeting in Germany, oil prices began to rise. If they do this, we will not be the only ones to be harmed. They will be harmed more than us. For Iran, there are still ways to deal with this. We do not recommend that they use such methods, but if they do, they should expect a response."
"We recommend that you learn a lesson from history. Do not repeat what you have done in the past and regretted. The Iranian people is zealous and brave. Do not toy with the national pride of the Iranians, because you will face a firm response. Things will change for you. Your interests in the region will be harmed."
Saketi, Dubai TV: "We recently heard that a company called Hara is building tunnels, 50 meters deep, for nuclear purposes. Do you have any comment? Thank you."
Ali Larijani: "It seems that in the world of politics, lying is not such a big deal. When Mr. Bush himself tells such big lies, don't be surprised when reports like this are published. We don't need tunnels. We conduct our nuclear research in full view of the IAEA, not in tunnels. But even if we have tunnels, this should not be a problem."
Barbara Slavin, USA Today: "I'd like to ask you first about the IAEA report that there were 15 pages of documents showing how to turn uranium metal into a weapon. If Iran says that its program is for peaceful purposes, what were you doing in possession of 15 pages of documents, showing how to make a weapon?"
Ali Larijani: "I think there was a mistake in these figures. It was not 15 pages but a page and a half. If anyone here can make a bomb with a page and a half, I will coat him in gold. How can anyone build a bomb with a page and a half of information?
"I said to Mr. ElBaradei: You yourself know what this page and a half is worth. Others are using this as a pretext. This document is in the hands of the IAEA. It is just a page and a half long. Endless data like this can be found on the Internet."