Iran News ...


6/8/03

Iran denies any alleged breach in its nuclear energy program

Iran on Sunday rejected allegations that it ever faulted on compliance with its nuclear safeguards agreement, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reportedly said ahead of a meeting of the agency's board of governors on July 16 that the Islamic Republic had failed to comply with its safeguards agreement.

"According to Iran's earlier commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Islamic Republic of Iran has not committed any breach," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told reporters after attending a parliamentary questioning.

The faults, according to the nuclear energy watchdog, included the reporting of nuclear material, the subsequent processing and use of that material and the declaration of facilities where that material was stored and processed.

Kharrazi summed up Iran's obligations, signed during IAEA Director General Mohammad ElBaradei's visit to the Islamic Republic in February, saying as per the agreement Tehran has not violated any of its commitment.

"According to this new commitment, we must inform IAEA before launching construction work on any (nuclear) site. Since the Iranian sites have not become operational yet, Iran has not committed any breach.

"These sites become operational only when nuclear material is used in them, while Iran's new sites have not entered this phase yet," Kharrazi said.

The Iranian foreign minister defended the country's signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as the safeguards agreement when questioned on the relevance of such commitments.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency is informed of what we are doing in this respect. If the agency works on our plans, that will prove beneficial for us. This is for creating trust and transparency," Kharrazi said.

The Iranian foreign minister was earlier taken into account at the parliament floor over Tehran's signing of the NPT and safeguards agreement.

"On which basis and authority did you sign the treaties to question the right of the nation on determining their own fate and the country's independence?" an MP from northwestern Tabriz, Akbar Aalami, asked.

The Islamic Republic, which is party to the NPT, has come under mounting pressures, apparently instigated by Washington, to sign an additional protocol which paves the way for more intensive inspection of the country's nuclear energy facilities.

Kharrazi said, "Pressures will help radical attitude grow in Iran and this will not benefit the Islamic Republic and the region or anyone else."

Tehran blames IAEA for the ongoing sanctions which have kept Iran from acquiring nuclear energy technology and has made signing the additional protocol conditional on lifting those sanctions.

"The International Atomic Energy Agency says it can better support Iran's peaceful nuclear activities if we accept the additional protocol," Kharrazi said.

"However, this is not justifiable for us since we cannot accept to go under a new commitment while our country is held under the constraint of various sanctions and restrictions," he added.

Kharrazi also rejected US-led pressures over the country's 'peaceful' nuclear energy program and renewed its appeal to industrial nations to help Tehran acquire the nuclear know-how.

"A capable Iran cannot be talked to with the language of force and threats and cannot be pressured to give up nuclear know-how," Kharrazi said, adding, "A capable Iran must be approached with understanding and cooperation."

He repeated Iran's appeal to world countries to participate in the country's nuclear energy programs so as to verify their peaceful nature.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is capable of acquiring nuclear know-how and its invitation for other countries to participate in transferring the nuclear technology indicates Tehran's transparent policies," he said.

"The Islamic Republic's security doctrine is void of nuclear arms and Iran's use of nuclear technology is merely for peaceful intentions," Kharrazi added.

Iranian MPs backs government's peaceful nuclear programs

A member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Borujerdi declared in Tehran on Sunday that MPs support state policy on peaceful nuclear programs, IRNA reported.

Borujerdi attended a press conference after a two-hour meeting between members of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and Director of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Gholam-Reza Aghazadeh.

He told reporters that in the meeting MPs voiced their backing for the government's decisions on establishment of atomic reactors for power generation.

"Sunday's meeting was associated with the presence of a delegation of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) visiting Iran within the framework of the periodical inspections, recent widespread rumors charging Iran for using nuclear energy for non-peaceful purposes and US political pressures," he added.

The official noted that Iran's entire peaceful nuclear activities were explained in the meeting.

"Given that Iran is one of the signatories to the international nuclear protocols and the related technology, all its nuclear programs are within the framework of such agreements," he added.

MP from Borujerd, referring to the need for new sources of energy, specially the nuclear type, said that Iran is currently relying on energies supplied by oil and gas resources.

"If we fail to use nuclear technology, the future generations will face serious problems, given that they will be short of gas and oil resources," he added.

Asked on Iran's decision to sign the attached protocol, he said that it needs to be further examined by experts.

Arrival of IAEA inspectors in line with Iran's NPT commitments: IAEO spokesman

Tehran on Sunday said the arrival of inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect Iran's nuclear facilities is in accordance with the country's safeguard commitments as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), IRNA reported.

The spokesman for the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO), Khalil Mousavi, told IRNA the three-member nuclear inspection team arrived in Tehran on Saturday and will carry out their designated task within the next two or three days.

Asked what sections of Iran's nuclear installations they would be visiting during their stay, Mousavi said the world's nuclear watchdog has an inspection system which includes Iran the terms of which are in accordance with the NPT.

He said the current visit by IAEA inspectors is routine, adding that IAEA inspectors are regularly in the country but that this visit has been sensationalized because of recent US allegations that Iran is developing a nuclear weapons program.

The official also noted that US concerns on Iran's nuclear program are highly exaggerated and has been exploited by the media to portray the country in a bad light.

The IAEA sends inspectors to inspect the nuclear installations of other countries such as Japan more frequently, but such visits hardly get media attention, he contended.

Iranian daily rejects IAEA's charges over Iran's nuke projects

`Iran News' on Sunday rejected the International Atomic Energy Agency's charges that Iran has failed to comply with international nuclear safeguards agreements, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran's nuclear program, which was scheduled to be presented to the body's board of governors in Vienna on June 16 but was made public last Friday, has raised the question whether the IAEA is under pressure from Washington to skew up reports against Iran, said the daily.

A glance at the aspects of the report suggests both a "positive" and "negative" image for Iran, the English-language daily wrote in its editorial.

The IAEA claims that "Iran has advanced its nuclear technology in violation of international safeguards" but also states that the Islamic Republic is taking steps "to rectify the situation," it noted.

"If the final draft of this report on June 16 is consistent with the text released to the press, it would give added ammunition to the US to pressure Iran by pursuing a similar scenario like the one we all saw in Iraq," the daily added.

The IAEA's possible condemnation of Iran would provide Washington the excuse to insist on more inspection of the country's nuclear facilities and more importantly to justify their possible actions against Iran to their public opinion, it said.

Washington would then exploit the international media to intensify its attacks and accusations on Iran's alleged Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program as well as other issues, it said. But, the daily believes, the international community fully knows Washington's allegations against Iran over its nuke projects are baseless, in light of the fact that till date, the Bush Administration has failed to find Saddam's alleged nuclear, chemical and biological weapons even though the war in Iraq ended nearly two months ago.

In fact, the daily stressed, the occupying forces have not even managed to present one reliable document or piece of hard evidence attesting to the former Baghdad regime's WMD arsenal, it said.

Let it be known that Iran is committed to its nuclear obligations on becoming a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as well as other related agreements such as the CTBT, and as such has the right to pursue nuclear technology for peaceful means, the daily noted.

Besides, Iran is also on record as agreeing to sign NPT's additional protocols in the event economic sanctions against it are lifted, the daily wrote.

But the burning question is "why is the IAEA not directly responding to Iran's calls?" the daily asked.

Could it be because the IAEA is under concentrated pressure by the Americans to skew the report on Iran's atomic program? it said.

Answer to this question will be found when the IAEA presents its report on June 16 to the board of governors, the daily concluded.

... Payvand News - 6/8/03 ... --



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