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Iran not to abandon peaceful nuclear activities at any cost: Rafsanjani

Tehran, March 15, IRNA -- Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here Sunday Iran is determined to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and would not abandon this goal at any cost.

Rafsanjani made the remarks as he talked to reporters working with domestic news agencies on the anniversary of the Expediency Council's start of activities.

"We are determined to use nuclear energy for peaceful advantages and would never put it aside and, at the same time, we are ready to show to the whole world that we will conduct our activities with all transparency so there would be no concerns raised," he said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Saturday approved a resolution deferring progress on the verification of Iran's stated nuclear activities until the watchdog's next meeting in June.

The 35-member IAEA Board of Governors decided to withhold its decision on the nature of the Islamic Republic's nuclear activities until the receipt of a report which it asked IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei to submit before the end of May.

The resolution, issued without a vote, came following intensive closed-door negotiations with the US and its allies lobbying hard to send a strongly worded message to Tehran.

A draft of a resolution submitted by the US and its allies was opposed by some members, particularly the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries along with Russia and China, which issued a statement commending Tehran's "increased cooperation" with the international nuclear watchdog.

The resolution was a mistaken measure adopted by the West and the agency. We took strides towards confidence-building. We carried out our activities and they had supervision on them so the world should be confident we do not have military nuclear activities, Rafsanjani said.

"According to the IAEA's rules, they (Western countries) should help us but it seems that their misunderstanding has caused problems for them as well as for the agency and has turned the trend of confidence-building into doubts," The EC chairman added.

"The P2 issue is an ordinary issue. We have achieved technology using international experience and made centrifuge design drawings which belong to the previous generation," he said.

"What we have found is a better kind of technology...there are no new issues (but) they (Western powers) continue to accuse Iran of undertaking secret activities," he added.

... Payvand News - 3/15/04 ... --

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