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Official: Suspension of uranium enrichment a voluntary decision by Iran

Vienna, Sept 13, IRNA -- Spokesman of the Iranian delegation to the sixth session of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Hossein Moussavian, said in Vienna on Monday that since the beginning, suspension has been a voluntary decision of the part of Iran in a bid to build confidence.

Moussavian told reporters on sidelines of the IAEA Board meeting that Iran had decided after conclusion of Tehran declaration with European trio on October 21, 2003, to voluntarily suspend the uranium enrichment program.

"We have done maximum confidence building measures since October 2003," said Moussavian.

"We have signed protocols and we have implemented protocols, we have issued declarations, we have provided inspectors' full access to the sites, we have agreed with the complementary access."

The IAEA inspectors have over the past few months had complementary access to the sites on 13 occasions which is something unprecedented in the IAEA history, he reiterated.

"They have had about 800-man a day inspection to Iran during the past one year, therefore we believe that enough confidence about enrichment program of Iran has been built with the Agency," the envoy emphasized.

The main issue of suspension practically is introduction of material to centrifuges which has been suspended by the Islamic Republic of Iran, he added.

"We believe that the voluntary suspension by Iran is aimed at building confidence on the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear (uranium) enrichment. The main issue of suspension is introduction of gas which is suspended but we believe that the suspension can not last for ever," the Iranian envoy added.

"It can be continued just for a short period of time to build confidence and we have taken all necessary steps in order to give IAEA enough confidence."

IAEA, today, has full control over all enrichment activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Moussavian said stressing that the enrichment is the legitimate right of all members therefore no one can challenge Tehran's legitimate right.

"I believe that every thing would be finalized by November," he underscored.

On the issue of conversion, Moussavian stressed that in its reports, the IAEA has welcomed Tehran declaration and has gone to the normal procedure of safeguard.

As to the issue of the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) project in Isfahan, in central Iran, Moussavian said the project, has since the very beginning been under full supervision of the IAEA and within framework of the safeguard agreement.

Asked by an Arab reporter whether Israel was lobbying against Iran's nuclear program, Moussavian responded, "sure".

... Payvand News - 9/13/04 ... --

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