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Iran Marks National Day in Reception at Lotte
Iranian Ambassador to Korea Jahanbakhsh Mozaffari (second from right) poses with Iranian Minister-Counsellor Ali Piri, Mr. Min Byung-Il (right), editorial director of The Seoul Times, and Mr. Lee Jon-Young (left), president of Diplomacy Journal at Iranian National Day reception at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on Feb. 13, 2006.

Iranian Ambassador to Korea Jahanbakhsh Mozaffari hosted a reception to celebrate the 27th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution at Hotel Lotte in downtown Seoul on Feb. 13, 2006.

More than 350 distinguished Korean and foreign guests attended the function, which was also joined by members of foreign diplomatic corps accredited to Seoul.

El Salvador Ambassador Alfredo Francisco Ungo, dean of Seoul's foreign diplomatic corps delivered a speech for the diplomatic occasion.

Formerly known as Persia, Iran is located in Southwestern Asia, from the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf — the junction of cultural, intellectual, and pontifical influences from the East and West.

General Manager Bernhard Brender of Millennium Seoul Hilton (second from left) poses with Amb. Dato' M. Santhananaban of Malaysia (second from right), Amb. U Myo Lwin of Myanmar (right), and Charge d'Affaires Valerii Aleksandruk of Ukraine.

South Korea and Iran have supported each other's concerns in the United Nations and other international agencies since the two countries established formal diplomatic ties in 1962.

On the occasion of the 27th anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Feb. 11, 2006 that given the enemies failure to undermine people's determination to support the Islamic Republic of Iran through their 27-year conspiracies against the Islamic Revolution, they are now intent on destroying the ruling system by hindering access to peaceful nuclear technology.

Speaking at the rally held at Tehran Azadi Square on Feb.11, 2006 he added that the enemies are not frightened of the nuclear weapons, rather are concerned over the self-confidence of the Iranian youth.

"They believe that by hiding their ugly and abominable face behind the United Nations nuclear watchdog and Security Council, their ugliness will be demolished," he added.

Amb. Mohamed Reda El-Taify of Egypt (left) poses with ambassadors of other countries at Iranian Nat'l Day reception.

The chief executive called upon the West, in particular the US, and said, "You do not respect the international bodies and have even defamed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by your approach." In another part of his remarks, he pointed to the proposal on enrichment outside Iran and said that there is no guarantee that they will comply with their commitments.

"They have even deprived us of the aircraft spare parts over the past 27 years and despite having paid for them, they have avoided delivering them. Therefore, what is the guarantee that we will be supplied with the nuclear fuel in future," added Ahmadinejad.

In response to the threats by Western countries to impose economic sanctions against Iran and hampering imports of any product to the country, he said that Iran does not actually need the consumer goods, which are being sold to it.

"A nation, which has managed to access nuclear energy with an empty hand, can supply its demands in a different way," said the president.

Amb. Nabil Malek-Asghar (right) of Afghanistan poses with VIP participants at Iranian National Day reception held at Lotte Hotel.

Ahmadinejad referred to the Islamic Revolution as a continuation of the mission of prophets.

Meanwhile, the president underlined the ideals of the Islamic Revolution including promotion of kindness among human beings and respect for all humanity.

Stressing that the Islamic Revolution and the relevant movement in Iran is not limited to a specific time and geographical point, he said that the Iranian nation should attempt to establish an exemplary community and Islamic model in the region, and the world.

He thanked the Lord that 27 years after the victory of the Islamic Revolution the spirit of resistance and forbearance is still observed among people.

In the meantime, a UAE newspaper reported that since there is very little option before the world in regard to Iran's nuclear programme, China and Russia, which have taken a more conciliatory stance towards Iran, should be encouraged in persuading Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions.

Amb. Rene Francisco Umana (Chinchilla) of Honduras (second from left) and Amb. Adolfo Carafi Melero (second from right) of Chile pose with others at Iranian National Day reception.

"The international community should work out a formula to ensure a diplomatic solution to the crisis before resorting to forceful means, such as sanctions," wrote The Gulf Today.

In its daily comment, the Sharjah-based daily paper warned that: "A confrontational stance would only force Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to dredge up nationalistic sentiments. It is not good for Iran or for rest of the world."

"Abmadinejad has hinted that Tehran would consider abandoning the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if pressure is imposed on it to limit its nuclear activities. Although experts have predicted that if pushed to the wall Iran would be forced to discard the NPT, it is the first time Tehran has threatened to pull out of the treaty," the paper said.

"The timing and occasion of the threat also sends definite signals to the West. Ahmadinejad has made this declaration in a speech marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, indicating Iran sees the whole issue as a matter of national pride, and if need be, it would stand and fight alone despite the threat of looming isolation in the wake of threatened sanctions," it remarked.

Amb. Masood Khalid of Pakistan (left) poses with Amb. Moncef Baati of Tunisia at Iranian National Day recpetion Feb. 13, 2006.

"Until now the Islamic Republic has pursued its nuclear effort within the context of the International Atomic: Energy Agency and the Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, if we see that despite our respect for these regulations you want to violate the rights of the Iranian people, you should understand the Iranian nation will revise its policies." By declaring so, Ahmadinejad has indicated that force would not deter Iran from pursuing its intended path.

"He has demonstrated time and again that Iran would stand firm if pushed around."

On Feb. 4, 2006 the IAEA decided to report Iran to the UN Security Council over its disputed nuclear programme. Iran reacted by formally telling the UN nuclear watchdog on Feb.6, 2006 to end snap inspections of its nuclear sites by mid-February. It also ordered the IAEA to remove surveillance cameras and indicated it would end its freeze on full uranium enrichment.

And now, as expected, Iran has threatened to walk out of NPT', which has 187 signatories. The treaty was created to prevent new nuclear states emerging, to promote co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to work towards nuclear disarmament.

Non-nuclear signatories agree not to seek to develop or acquire such weapons. In return, they are given an undertaking that they will be helped to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Leaving the NPT is allowed under the treaty, and would enable the state to develop nuclear power and weapons without inspection.

Iran denies Western claims that it is trying to develop weapons, maintaining that its nuclear programme is only for energy production.

Meanwhile the West is not willing to buy this argument as Iran is the fourth largest oil exporter in the world. If Iran decides to withdraw from the treaty it would be the second state to do so. North Korea, under Western threat, announced its withdrawal from the NPT in January 2003.

The above photos were taken by Rita Pi, Staff Reporter of The Seoul Times

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