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Iran fully committed to its NPT responsibility - Official

Iran is fully committed to its NPT responsibilities, not because of its contractual obligation, but also because of its religious and ethical considerations, and it is to officially respond to the resolution in a matter of few days after its studying, said a senior Iranian official in Vienna on Monday, IRNA reported.

Iran's Vice-President and Head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Gholam-Reza Aghazadeh further told the 47th regular session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Tehran's cooperation with the IAEA within the framework of the comprehensive safeguards will continue as before.

Aghazadeh said that being a signatory to the NPT, Iran's right to the peaceful nuclear technology is an established and recognized fact.

"We are here with the message of willingness to find ways and means that would salvage the process and maintain the issue within the framework of the relevant international body, under the direction of the IAEA director general, taking into account the interpretations put forth by the majority of the Board member on the content of the resolution," said Aghazadeh.

He said that Iran's actions and policies are geared to strengthening the safeguards regime, because of strategic considerations.

He added that Iran's planned nuclear development program to generate 7000 MW of electricity with secured fuel has factored in consideration of strengthening the Safeguards, through joining the Additional Protocol or otherwise, so as to encourage the international community to give a serious impetus to others in the Middle East to respond positively to Iran's initiative for establishing the Middle East as a nuclear-weapon free zone.

The official said it is indeed unfortunate to note that despite all attempts to resolve the outstanding issues, the ever-increasing cooperation with the Agency as clearly reflected in the report, Tehran has witnessed an opposite trend by those who seek to disrupt the process.

He said had the ongoing process continued, Tehran would surely have had achieved the desired results of full transparency and confidence. The resolution, adopted in the IAEA Board of Governors on the nuclear program in Iran last week, will certainly not help the process forward and is thus seen as counter productive, he added.

"We have serious problems with this resolution. From its inconsistency with the NPT to its deadline for cooperation and its venomous language are all problematic. These are our preliminary views on this resolution. We are studying the resolution carefully and will officially respond to it in a few days," he said.

Aghazadeh said Iran would proceed with its obligations with the Agency about the Additional Protocol.

"We, as a matter of principle, are strongly of the view that the only way to counter challenges that emanate from the existence of nuclear arsenals of the nuclear powers and the proliferation of nuclear weapons is to strengthen the relevant international instrument through multilateral, comprehensive and non-discriminatory efforts," said Aghazadeh.

He added, "We firmly believe that the NPT is the cornerstone of the international efforts to achieve complete nuclear disarmament and to halt vertical and horizontal proliferation of this horrible weapon."

He questioned, "Now the essential question is posed as to which country takes the responsibility and the blame of providing Israel with nuclear weapons and thus overlooking its NPT obligations on non-proliferation."

Aghazadeh said the NPT constitutes an integrated structure, whose effectiveness and realization of its noble goals lie in full compliance with all its provisions by all parties. He added that the credibility on the NPT as the most encompassing disarmament treaty would be impaired through selective and discriminatory approaches towards its implementation.

Elsewhere in his speech, Aghazadeh objected to the IAEA resolution and to the manner in which it was developed and negotiated.

"The resolution goes beyond the words and spirit of the NPT and the IAEA Statutes, even beyond the provisions of the Additional Protocol, which we are still in the process of negotiating it."

He said Iranian delegation could not have associated itself with such a resolution which was pushed to a decision through resorting to false attributions to the Secretariat, arms twisting at many capitals, and stone walling the views and amendments of not only 15 members of the NAM, but also those of others including some of the co-sponsors themselves.

He added, "This is unilateralism at its worst, that is to say, extreme unilateralism posed under a multilateralist cloak. We believe there is more to this resolution that meets the eye at the first glance. There is an agenda behind it that is conceived in escalating tension and chaos to divert attention from serious issues that deal with partial politics in the United States."

Aghazadeh said in Tehran's view, such a heavy-handed approach to get a resolution casts considerable doubt on the validity, utility, and above all, the practicality of such a resolution. It seems that the resolution has been engineered in such a manner to guarantee its non-or half implementation. "We sincerely doubt whether this resolution intends, as it should, to promote the effectiveness of the safeguards and non-proliferation regime," he concluded.

The IAEA Board of Governors on Friday passed a resolution giving Iran an October 31 deadline to prove it had no secret atomic weapons program.

Following growing US pressure for action against Iran, the 35-nation IAEA board passed a resolution setting the deadline.

"The resolution was adopted without a vote, a procedure very unusual in the IAEA," said the agency's spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.

The Malaysian ambassador to the IAEA, Hussein Haniff, said that the choice to adopt the resolution without a vote meant that individual countries had the right to issue their own interpretations of its text.

The resolution, submitted by Australia, Canada and Japan, calls on Iran to `provide accelerated cooperation` with agency efforts to clear up Tehran's nuclear question marks. It also urges Tehran to suspend all further uranium enrichment-related activities.

Iran's delegation walked out of the board of governors meeting in protest. Iran has repeatedly warned that imposing a deadline would aggravate nuclear tensions.

"We reject in the strongest terms this resolution," chief Iranian delegate Ali Akbar Salehi said in a statement. "Unfortunately the sponsors of the draft reacted in total disregard for principles of multilateralism and did not entertain our amendments."

... Payvand News - 9/15/03 ... --

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