Iran News ...


11/29/04

Iran says has clinched 'most positive' UN nuclear deal ever

Tehran, Nov 29, IRNA -- Iran welcomed Monday a revised draft resolution, prepared by the Europeans which is due to be presented to the world nuclear watchdog in Vienna later in the day.

Top nuclear negotiator Hossein Moussavian gloated after having 'all the basic modifications' demanded by Tehran written into the draft text, describing it as 'the most positive resolution' Tehran has ever hammered out in its nuclear dispute.

However, Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh gave a guarded welcome, describing the resolution as 'appropriate', but still falling short of 'meeting all our objectives'.

"The European resolution proposed to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors is appropriate but does not guarantee all our objectives and mistrust exists over certain issues," he said during his weekly news briefing here.

The resolution, prepared by the European trio of Germany, Britain and France, will be presented to the IAEA Board of Governors Monday, sparing a likely showdown between the board and Tehran.

"Doubtless, this is the most positive resolution of the agency's board of governors since Iran's nuclear crisis (began) and it is a moderate and balanced resolution," said the spokesman of the Iranian delegation to the board, Hossein Moussavian.

Ramezanzadeh said, "For now, this is an appropriate resolution which is based on the expediency of our country's future.

"The draft resolution proposed by the Europeans will help us achieve our common goals and continued negotiations will lead to better progress in the process of confidence building."

He said, "Our most important objective was to have access to peaceful nuclear technology within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which we have achieved; but there is still misunderstanding which has gradually to be removed."

Speaking to IRNA in Vienna Monday, Moussavian outlined three key points which have explicitly been included in the draft resolution.

"The first point is that the suspension of uranium enrichment is voluntary, with the second being the fact that suspension is only aimed at confidence building; and finally, the point that this suspension does not amount to any legal obligation for Iran.

"The most important and pivotal features of this resolution are that Iran's dossier will be removed from the agenda of the (IAEA) board of governors and allow the IAEA director general to follow up remaining ambiguities and questions within the framework of the Additional) Protocol and the Safeguards (Treaty).

"The other important point is that the entire wording of the resolution, which could have included the threat of a 'trigger mechanism' for (automatic) referral of Iran's file to the Security Council, has been totally changed.

"In the preliminary draft of the resolution, there was the talk of unrestricted access of the agency to the Iranian sites without any framework, but this phrase was dropped from the final text," he added.

Moussavian said the resolution had also 'clearly declared' Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy.

According to the top negotiator, Iran also managed to have the Europeans clarify in a part of the resolution, citing Tehran's violations, that those breaches related to 'October 2003' before Iran took up 'correctional measures'.

"This could save us from subsequent manipulations, including pinning Iran to lack of commitment (to its obligations," Moussavian added.

Javier Solana, EU's top security and foreign policy chief, believed to be a driving force behind the deal, welcomed it hoping that it would lead to a positive solution to the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.

"It is a very important agreement. I hope that will allow to have a good solution by the (IAEA) board of governors in the coming days," Solana told journalists in Brussels.

Another European diplomat described the draft 'a great step forward', but added that 'it is not the end of the story'.

"There are still several difficult and complicated questions on Iran's nuclear activities which should be answered," he told IRNA.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the diplomat said, "Although Tehran has announced its readiness for temporary and voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment, Europe and the US call for permanent suspension."

The deal came on the back of strenuous negotiations between Iran and the EU3 after Tehran demanded Saturday that 20 of its centrifuges be excluded from its promised suspension of uranium enrichment for research and development.

This nearly unravelled an agreement reached between the two sides in Paris on November 7, with the Islamic Republic undertaking to freeze all its activities related to uranium enrichment as part of confidence building measures.

In a compromise letter to the IAEA Sunday, Iran announced that it was ready to put the 20 centrifuges under the agency's surveillance, without allowing the watchdog agency to seal them.

Uranium enrichment is allowed under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which Iran is a signatory, and the country wants it as part of its efforts to master a nuclear fuel cycle.

But as a confidence-building measure, Iran agreed in its meeting with the three EU states in Paris recently to voluntarily suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment.

The United States is trying to convince the world of its allegations that Tehran's nuclear program is a front to build atomic weapons, and pave the way for referral of Iran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

But, the EU trio of Germany, France and Britain pursue a different line, having offered Iran a package of economic incentives in return for suspending uranium enrichment.

The European trio have reached a 'preliminary' deal with Iran, under which Tehran would halt an enrichment program in exchange for political and economic incentives.

The EU incentives reportedly include a guaranteed supply of reactor fuel, assistance to construction of a light-water power reactor and a resumption of stalled trade talks.

A senior Iranian diplomat told IRNA in Vienna that Iran and the Europeans will resume their trade and cooperation negotiations as of mid-December, putting their political, economic and security cooperation back on track, after they were stalled over Tehran's nuclear dispute.

He said the Europeans announced their readiness for resuming the operation of 'Iran-EU working committees' during Sunday night negotiations.

Several rounds of talks on a mutual trade and cooperation agreement (TCA) had been held between the two sides before Iran's nuclear issue was catapulted into the center of their talks.

The EU-Iran talks began after President Mohammad Khatami came into power in May 1997, with the EU taking up a policy of 'comprehensive dialogue' with the Islamic Republic in the form of biannual Troika meetings on political and economic issues.

The political part of the dialogue covers issues regarding conflicts, including in the Middle East, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, human rights and terrorism.

On the economic front, the European Union is exploring possibilities for cooperation with Iran in energy, trade and investment as well as refugees and drugs control.

The EU is Iran's biggest trading partner, with oil accounting for over 80 percent of Tehran's exports to the EU. Iran also sells agricultural products -- mainly pistachios -- as well as textiles and carpets to the EU.

... Payvand News - 11/29/04 ... --



comments powered by Disqus

Home | ArchiveContact | About |  Web Sites | Bookstore | Persian Calendar | twitter | facebook | RSS Feed


© Copyright 2004 NetNative (All Rights Reserved)