//Iran denounces US accusation as lie to undermine Islam

Iran denounces US accusation as lie to undermine Islam


TEHRAN, (Xinhua) — A top Iranian cleric on Friday denounced the US accusation over Iran’s nuclear program as a lie to undermine the world of Islam, saying that the Iranians will never "keep silent," the official IRNA news agency reported.

"This lie has now become clear and obvious, and the Iranian nation will not keep silent … and people from different walks of life in Iran are unanimously stressing country’s access to the nuclear technology," Substitute Friday Prayers Leader of Tehran, Mohammad Emami Kashani, was quoted as saying in a sermon.

Kashani said the United States is actually intended to "undermine the world of Islam and to make the Islamic establishment exhausted" by picking up the accusation over Iran’s nuclear program, stressing that the (Iranian) "nation avoids any hesitation and is stressing its right."

Kashani’s comments came as a statement on the Iranian nuclear issue drafted by Britain and France is being discussed among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China. The statement sets a two-week deadline for Iran to suspend all activities for building nuclear fuel reactor and to fully cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but Russia and China fear that tough rhetoric of the statement would radicalize the tension.

The 15-member U.N. Security Council had indefinitely postponed a meeting originally due on Tuesday to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue, a move aimed at giving the "Permanent Five" enough time to reach consensus. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Wednesday in Qatar that even the Security Council can not pressurize Iran to give in on its nuclear program.

On March 8, the IAEA handed over the Iran’s nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council after the agency’s board of governors meeting. Iran has denounced the involvement of the Security Council, vowing never to give in to pressure and bullying