Iran News ...


10/5/03

Iran terms IAEA talks successful, says to continue cooperation

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said in Tehran on Sunday that Iran's talks with the envoys of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have recorded a successful progress, stressing that the talks are continuing in a "very appropriate atmosphere," IRNA reported.

Asefi told reporters at his weekly press briefing that Iran has no problem for cooperating with IAEA, stressing however that Tehran needs to be assured that its national security and dignity are not threatened.

"The issues relating to Iran-IAEA debates are technical, and they should run their due natural course," he said. "If the spirit governing the talks is to remove the ambiguities, we have no problem [for continuing the talks] and will cooperate just like before."

The Islamic Republic is already a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

However, the IAEA is refusing to provide Iran with the nuclear expertise that under the agency's regulations it is entitled to receive, arguing that Tehran must first sign the NPT protocol that allows snap inspections of its nuclear sites.

Iran says it needs to receive guarantees before signing the additional protocol that the sanctions imposed by the West are removed and that Iran will be provided by the nuclear technology to satisfy its energy needs.

The IAEA Board of Governors last month set an October 31 deadline for Iran to prove it is pursuing peaceful nuclear programs. The resolution that was submitted by Canada, Japan and Australia also calls on Tehran to clarify its nuclear program by the end of October and to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

Meanwhile, former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Friday that Iran's conditions for signing the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) may be the same as those of the US.

Rafsanjani intimated in his sermon at Tehran Friday prayers that Iran's signing of the protocol must not jeopardize its security, values and sanctities, and that it must not lead to investigation of issues that are not related to the nuclear energy.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Asefi rejected reports on the formation of a five-member special committee to follow up Iran's position toward the NPT protocol, stressing that Iran's state institutions act within the frameworks of their duties.

Commenting on the remarks by Iran's representative to the IAEA Ali-Akbar Salehi that Iran and IAEA had reached a complete agreement on the process of their cooperation, Asefi said the Foreign Ministry is not informed about the details of that development.

"Using the nuclear technology is our right and will enable us to make major breakthroughs in various scientific and industrial areas. And other countries, as well as the IAEA, must recognize our right," he said.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman further rejected to comment on reports over an IAEA request to inspect a company called 'Kala-ye Electric', stressing that these issues are technical.

... Payvand News - 10/5/03 ... --



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