Monday, February 19, 2007
Iran withdrew permission at the last minute for the Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior to enter the port of Bushehr where its first nuclear reactor is under construction, the campaign group said. “Plans had been made to hold a press conference on board the group’s ship the Rainbow Warrior in Bushehr, Iran, to present the results of research into different energy options for Iran which would allow it to meet its energy needs without recourse to nuclear power,” a statement said. “However, at the last minute with the ship on the edge of Iran’s territorial waters, final permission to enter was withheld by the Iranian authorities,” Greenpeace said without indicating whether any reason had been given.“We are disappointed not be able to present our case in person to the people of Iran. At a time of massive naval operations in the Gulf it is a real shame that there appears to be no place for a peace ship.” There was no immediate word from the Iranian authorities. The planned Bushehr press conference was one of a series of events that Greenpeace has been holding around the Middle East as part of a campaign for a nuclear-free region. Iran insists that the reactor Russia is building for it in Bushehr is for peaceful energy purposes only.