Tehran seeks to reassure Persian Gulf Arabs

Originally at http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=42636&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs

LONDON, May 8 (IranMania) – Iran sought to reassure Persian Gulf Arab states over its nuclear plant at Bushehr, saying the unfinished power station enjoys the highest degree of safety, AFP reported.

“There is nothing to worry about, we have spent a lot of money on its (environmental) safety and the security of the plant,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

The declaration came after United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nayhan on Saturday asked for Iranian guarantees over its nuclear programme, calling it “worrisome not only for us, but for the entire world”.

He said that out of a desire to “ensure stability and the future of generations to come in the face of risks to the environment that could come about for one reason or another, we have to have further assurances.”

Iran is in a standoff with the West over its nuclear ambitions, with the United States and other countries accusing it of using its nuclear energy program to hide a secret weapons program.

Iran insists that its objective is simply to develop peaceful atomic energy.

“We have spent around $150 mln on (environmental) safety and security, even the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency mentioned in their report that there is nothing to worry about,” Asefi added.

Tehran’s top national security official Ali Larijani was in Abu Dhabi earlier this week for talks with Persian Gulf leaders, telling them they had nothing to fear from the plant being built with Russian help across the Persian Gulf at Bushehr.

Despite strong ties with the United States, Persian Gulf Arab states have been eager to appear neutral in Iran’s row with the West and are jittery about the fallout on the oil-rich region from threatened US military action against Tehran.



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