00:38 GMT +3 hours29 November 2014
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Iran Dismisses Nuclear Arms Concerns

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Tehran on Wednesday dismissed as irresponsible recent remarks by the French foreign minister who said Iran could acquire nuclear weapons next year.

Tehran on Wednesday dismissed as irresponsible recent remarks by the French foreign minister who said Iran could acquire nuclear weapons next year.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday that Iran looked to be on course for its goal of producing nuclear weapons by mid-2013.

“We considered France an advocate of the role of international organizations and their affiliated institutions, but now it seems that the French government is moving away from its traditional stance in the international arena,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted by Press TV as saying.

The French minister’s comments completely ignore the inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in recent years that have shown that “the Islamic Republic is not deviating from peaceful purposes,” Mehmanparast added.

Fabius said experts, whom he did not identify, have established that Iran has amassed a complete range of centrifuges that “apparently will enable it to acquire nuclear weapons by the first half of next year.”

The United States, Israel and some of their allies accuse Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that it is entitled to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.