'Iran adamant on nuclear rights'
Iranian technicians at the Uranium Conversion Facilities in Isfahan. (File photo)
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says as Tehran's nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes, Iran will never give up its right to uranium enrichment activities.
“Enrichment activities will never be given up in our country. The nuclear issue of our country is totally peaceful and is a basic right of our nation,” Ramin Mehmanparast told Xinhua.
Asked about the continuation of the nuclear talks between Iran and the 5+1 Group (comprising five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany), Mehmanparast said Iran is anticipating suggestion on the time and venue of the talks.
"We are ready for the talks. We have always said that we are ready for the talks and have always pointed out that the talks should aim at cooperative issues between [the two sides], that is, to decide to talk for cooperation instead of confrontation," he added.
The US, Israel and their European allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and have used this allegation to convince the UN Security Council to impose four rounds of sanctions on Iran.
Mehmanparast accused the US and Israel of using a number of ways to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.
He said that the US and Israel used many tools, including spy drones and human agents for spying on other countries.
"Americans know themselves that the number of their spying drones that have been controlled by our defensive and security forces is more than one and in a suitable time, it will be decided how to exhibit them," the spokesman added.
On December 4, the Iranian Army's electronic warfare unit downed a US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which was flying over the eastern Iranian city of Kashmar. American officials have admitted that the drone was part of a CIA reconnaissance mission against Iran.
Iran's Intelligence Ministry also announced the arrest of a CIA spy on December 17, who was tasked with carrying out a complex intelligence operation and infiltrating the Iranian intelligence apparatus.
Asked about the impact of the recently-announced US sanctions on the fluctuation of the currency rate in Iran, he said that "there is no direct link" between sanctions and the currency fluctuation in Iran.
"Some who want to relate this issue to the US sanctions have political motives. They want to say that as the US announced sanctions on Iran, Iran's economy was immediately hurt," Mehmanparast noted.
He also rejected claims that the depreciation of the Iranian rial against the US dollar was the result of sanctions, saying that the US embargos "have not been put into practice yet" and if it comes into effect "it will take several months" before it starts to show any impact.
On Saturday, December 31, 2011, US President Barack Obama signed into law fresh economic sanctions against Iran's Central Bank requiring foreign financial firms to make a choice between doing business with Iran's Central Bank and oil sector or with the US financial sector.
The legislation will not take effect for six months in a bid to provide oil markets with time to adjust.