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Rowhani: Iran to suspend uranium enrichment only for as long as talks with EU continuing

Tehran, Nov 30, IRNA -- Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) secretary Hassan Rowhani said on Tuesday that Tehran's commitment to freeze its uranium enrichment activities would be good only for as long as it was engaged in talks with Europe.

Speaking to domestic and foreign reporters at a press conference here, the cleric said: "The period of suspension would only be for the duration of the talks, which should last for a few months and not years."

"We have explicitly told the Europeans about it and we hope that the talks would be finalized within a few months," Rowhani added.

Describing as "unacceptable" some paragraphs of Monday's IAEA Board of Governors' resolution, particularly the first and fourth paragraphs, Rowhani said Iran merited praise in the text of the resolution for its positive moves and regretted that this was not the case.

Nonetheless, the official praised the resolution as "the best" which has ever been passed by the IAEA on the Iran nuclear issue compared with past resolutions.

Rowhani reiterated that Tehran "voluntarily" decided to suspend uranium enrichment and was not pressured into making the commitment.

He said that Tehran made it clear in its letter to IAEA Director- General Mohamed ELBaradei that it had frozen its uranium enrichment activities pursuant to the Paris deal and in accordance with their "political agreement."

"Tehran believes that the IAEA Board of Governors has no power to compel a country to suspend its nuclear activities. It depends on the country itself," Rowhani said.

As for the issue of Iran's research activities on 20 centrifuges which Iran's opponents tried to magnify, the official assured that they were being kept "merely for research activities."

The Americans raised the issue with the support of the Zionists who invented the false allegations, Rowhani said, adding that these were totally baseless.

As for the reports that the centrifuges would be turned over to Europe, Rowhani said that Iran was able to convince them that these stay in Iran "under IAEA surveillance."

He further hoped that the two sides would be able reach a mutual understanding on how Tehran would use the centrifuges before their next talks scheduled on December 15.

Rowhani stressed that the issue of suspension "did not and will not include research activities."

As for another question on some activities that were allegedly not reported by Tehran in a previous report to the IAEA, the official admitted that "there were some shortcomings," arguing that "they were not on major points."

Working with the IAEA was a "hard task" as it is a body which is under pressure (from the outside), Rowhani said, adding, "We worked with the IAEA and they confirmed Tehran was pursuing a peaceful nuclear program."

The official also said that if someone made an "irrational demand" on Iran the demand would definitely be spurned.

He warned that Iran will definitely neutralize any attempt by opponents to "poison the atmosphere against Iran and will also work to isolate them."

Referring to a poll which showed 67 percent of Iranians were closely watching the Iran nuclear issue at home and at the international level, Rowhani said the poll also confirmed that Iranians supported the country's right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

"The Iranian nation is cpable of turning any threat into an opportunity," said the official, adding that the people also supported negotiations instead of encounters.

Rowhani expressed appreciation for the efforts of representatives of the Non-Aligned Movement member states who were also members of the IAEA governing board, particularly South Africa, for their active support for Iran at the IAEA meetings.

In conclusion, he reiterated Tehran's desire to continue its cooperation with NAM member states toward ridding the region and, for that matter, the world of nuclear weapons.

... Payvand News - 11/30/04 ... --

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