Iranian president denies violation of NPT

Iran's president on Saturday defended his country's resumption of nuclear research and said they have not violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. "There is no evidence to prove Iran's diversion (toward nuclear weapons)," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a large press conference, condemning Western nations that had threatened to take Iran to the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear activities. "The world public opinion knows that Iran has not violated the Nonproliferation Treaty," he said. "There are no restrictions for nuclear research activities under the NPT protocol and Iran has not accepted any obligation (not to carry out research). How is it possible to prevent the scientific development of a nation?" Iran resumed research work on uranium enrichment earlier this week drawing fierce international condemnations. Britain, France and Germany issued a tough statement on Thursday declaring two and a half years of tense negotiations with Tehran reached a "dead end" and urged the Security Council to intervene.

Iran insists it is seeking nuclear energy to generate electricity. The United States and its European allies fear Iran is trying to create a nuclear weapon. Ahmadinejad said the international accusations against Iran were "propaganda" and that the presence of International Atomic Energy Agency surveillance equipment is proof Iran has nothing to hide.

"How will the world public opinion accept their propaganda campaign against Iran when IAEA cameras are installed on all nuclear sites?" Ahmadinejad asked.

He complained that "a few" Western countries were lobbying against Iran and said Tehran did not trust them. "They speak and behave as if they are living in the medieval age," the president said. "I'm recommending these countries not isolate themselves more among the people of the world. Resorting to the language of coercion is over."' He said Iran had tried for two and a half years to restore the trust of the international community, including by sealing some research sites, signing a protocol allowing snap IAEA inspections and ceasing uranium enrichment. "Now, it is the turn of the European countries to apply trust-building measures," he said, reports the AP. N.U.