MUNICH, Germany (AP) — Iran’s nuclear program is not a threat to Israel and the country is prepared to settle all outstanding issues with the International Atomic Energy Agency within three weeks, its top nuclear negotiator said Sunday.
Ali Larijani, speaking at a forum that gathered the world’s top security officials, said Iran doesn’t have aggressive intentions toward any nation.
“That Iran is willing to threaten Israel is wrong,” Larijani said. “We pose no threat and if we are conducting nuclear research and development we are no threat to Israel. We have no intention of aggression against any country.”
In Israel, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev dismissed Larijani’s comments, saying Iran’s government was trying to convince the international community to believe that their intentions are benign. “The fact is that they have failed in this attempt and there is a wall-to-wall consensus that the Iranian nuclear program is indeed military and aggressive and a threat to world peace.”
Iran insists it will not give up uranium enrichment, saying it is pursuing the technology only to generate energy. The United States and some of its allies fear the Islamic republic is more interested in enrichment’s other application — creating the fissile core of nuclear warheads.
The IAEA, led by Mohamed ElBaradei, has said it has found no evidence that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons. But the U.N.‘s nuclear watchdog agency has suspended some aid to Iran and criticized the country for concealing certain nuclear activities and failing to answer questions about its program.
“I have written to Mr. ElBaradei to say we are ready to within three weeks to have the modality to solve all the outstanding issues with you,” Larijani said at the forum.
Some of you may be wondering, “why are you focusing on geopolitical stuff with Iran and North Korea when we all know that the future risks from biotech, nanotech, and AI are so much more significant than these present-day squabbles?” Several reasons: 1) These issues affect us today. The medium-term future (5−20 years) will be shaped by what happens in the next 5 years. Look at the impact that 9–11 had. (Lifeboat Foundation originally formed as a response to 9–11.) 2) If the world ends in some way before UFAI, it will likely involve military nanotechnology. A military nano arms race, if one occurs, will likely be launched based on some geopolitical precedent. The seeds of which could very well be seen in the headlines of today. 3) Focusing on the present gives us a bit more credibility. What kind of organization would Lifeboat be if we only looked at the future, and never the present or the past? Some enthusiasts may be comfortable focusing almost exclusively on the future, but in mainstream punditry, this is just not done. No need to sideline ourselves unnecessarily.