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10/13/03

Iran-IAEA talks to start next week, ElBaradei to visit Iran on Thursday

Iran's envoy is to start negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) next week, IRNA reported from Tehran.

Presidential Adviser and Head of the Secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Rabiei told IRNA here Monday that views, concerns, technical and economic considerations and Iran's national interests and security on the protocol are among major issues to be discussed.

"It is natural that political and security considerations would be prioritized in the talks," he said.

Rabeie added that IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei is expected to visit Iran this Thursday.

Iranian policy-makers put the issue of the Additional Protocol on their agenda seriously with regard to the country's national interests and they had tried to coordinate Iran's position toward the issue.

He pointed out that all countries, including Japan and Brazil have decided about the protocol carefully and precisely, adding this precise follow up, which demands time, is the right of all countries. The Islamic Republic is already a signatory to the 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's additional 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 October 3 that Iran's conditions for signing the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty 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.

... Payvand News - 10/13/03 ... --



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