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11/15/04

Iran's Rowhani: Suspension not Tehran's red line

Tehran, Nov 15, IRNA -- Suspension of uranium enrichment program has never been the red line, said Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Hassan Rowhani in a press conference in Tehran on on Monday. Rowhani said that rather, Tehran's red line has been complete suspension of uranium enrichment process.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has not withdrawn from any of its principles; we did not accept suspension based on (the IAEA) resolution; we accepted temporary and voluntary suspension based on a political deal with Europe," said Iran's chief nuclear negotiator.

Tehran refusal to accept suspension based on the resolution was because of the legal obligation it would have had in that case, said Rowhani.

He said Tehran had passed a difficult road to the end, getting engaged in intensive dialogue with Europeans on the nuclear issue.

He lashed out at certain groups who recommended no engagement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under the pretext that the Agency is influenced by big powers. He added that the IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei's report, however, points to Tehran's full cooperation.

The IAEA confirms today that Iran's activities had been peaceful and this is a 'very important' achievement, said Rowhani, adding that today, the IAEA, as an international institution says Iran's activities are peaceful and the success should not be underestimated.

"We have reached agreement with Europe and it has officially announced in the agreement that suspension by Iran is voluntary and a confidence building measure; we take this as a success and a move forward.

"We do not wish to go into war with the world; we say our move has been peaceful and legal and we are capable of proving that," said Rowhani.

"Of course cooperation with the IAEA and engagement with Europe is something difficult," added Rowhani.

Hailing Iranian diplomats participating in the talks as 'the most powerful diplomats worldwide' -- as E3 envoys have acknowledged --, Rowhani said the officials in charge and related experts reading the texts of the talks admit and acknowledge the fact that Iranian diplomats are skilled.

Asked how Europe would receive necessary guarantees from Iran, Rowhani said it had been included in the text of the agreement.

He said that working groups would be formed after the November meeting and by early December, one of its duties being ensuring necessary guarantees on Iran's part for the issue.

He added that if the working group succeeds going through with its duty, Iran would start enrichment by offering necessary guarantees.

Rowhani said Europe has, under the agreement, pledged commitment to supporting Iran's membership in the fuel cycle group and participate in the discussions within the group.

He concluded that hence, Iran would get membership of a group in charge of devising regulations for fuel cycle worldwide.

... Payvand News - 11/15/04 ... --



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