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Iranian Official: Decision to break Isfahan complex's seal made by heads of system

Tehran, Aug 2, IRNA-Head of Propagation and Information Committee of the country's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) emphasized in an interview with IRNA here Monday, "Iran's decision to resume nuclear activities at Isfahan Nuclear Complex is a national decision adopted by the system's top officials in the presence of the Supreme Leader."

Ali Aghamohammadi further elaborated in his detailed interview with IRNA's Ali-Reza Abdollah, "The officials present at that sensitive decision-making session included President Mohammad Khatami, President-Elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Head of the Expediency Council Hojatoleslam Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, and former prime minister and Expediency Council member Mir-Hossein Moussavi."

According to the decision, the seal of Isfahan's UCF Nuclear Complex was supposed to be broken on Monday evening in the presence of the International Atomic Energy Agency's representative in Iran, following presentation of Iran's prior written notice to IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei on the matter.

Aghamohammadi added, "The heads of the system unanimously declared at that meeting that August 1st would be Iran's unchangeable deadline, deciding that the current trend of nuclear talks is against the country's national interests, and that a solid response was needed against the continuation of that sick trend."

On probable relation between the beginning of President Ahmadinejad's tenure, the fact that he has said he would pursue President Khatami's detente policy, and resuming of the country's sensitive nuclear activities, he reiterated, "This issue is independent from the change of governments. It is the Iranian nation's decision, and quite independent from taking charge of President Ahmadinejad's cabinet."

He added, "President Khatami announced this sensitive decision quite calmly during the last days of his tenure, but if he were opposed to the idea he could have postponed its declaration so that he not be the one to reveal it, as the Europeans, too, preferred." In reply to IRNA's question, "What would be the direction of Iran's nuclear strategy in new government's era?", Aghamohammadi said, "Macro-scale decisions of the system would be made by the country's top officials, just as always, and they would not be subject to drastic changes with coming to power of a new president."


Aghamohammadi believes breaking the seal of Isfahan's UCF Nuclear Complex could have no negative effects for the country. He says, "The move is quite a simple, natural, and mainstream one.

Resuming the activities at Isfahan Complex is different from resuming the country's nuclear enrichment activities."

He further elaborated, "Europe, too, has never been opposed to resuming of activities at Iran's Isfahan Nuclear Complex and they have informed us of that stand in meetings behind closed doors. The only point is that they wished to announce their agreement with the move at a different time, followed by thousands of percussions, but of course fully ignoring Iran's serious concerns."

The SNSC official added, "Nothing particular has happened to disappoint the Europeans, and in other words, we have just made a move that they wished to permit us to do following thousands of percussions."


SNSC member touching on probability of referring Iran's clear dossier to the United Nation's Security Council due to resuming activities at Isfahan UCF Nuclear Complex, said, "It has been repeatedly stressed in many IAEA resolution's that Iran's suspension of its nuclear enrichment activities is "temporary" and "voluntary".

It is against pure logic and international norms to refer a country's case to the UNSC due to ending a temporary suspension, under close supervision of the IAEA."

He added, "Any other negative effects due to this move, too, are out of question, unless they would be determined to treat us based on a different set of rules and regulations, which is a different issue."

Aghamohammadi added, "If the Europeans would aim at raising an unnecessary hue and cry once again today and create an unjust, severe atmosphere against us, they would naturally break all the bridges that both sides have built relying on painstaking efforts, reconstruction of which would be too tough."

He emphasized, "The US and Western threats cannot deprive Iran of its natural national rights and we believe Iran's quite natural move is made based on sound logic. Many people expected us to take this step a lot earlier and we do not even expect any IAEA member to ask for an emergency meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog to survey the matter."

Aghamohammadi added that continuation of talks with the EU is the best option ahead for Iran.

Referring to the negative economic and social effects of the 20-month suspension and the resulting damage on Iran nation's national pride, he expressed hope that this move would be interpreted relying on well intention of the West and that their future moves, too, would be in line with boosting cooperation and further strengthening ties with Europe.

He added, "Any antagonist move, or threat would naturally result in diverting the current trend from the friendly path we have jointly constructed to an unpredictable process, and they would be blamed for its negative aftermaths since it was the Europeans who delayed resentation of their proposal and ignored the need for meeting their commitments toward us, and they are all the same now adopting a threatening antagonist mood."

In response to the question, "Don't you think the Europeans' proposal, that would be put forth within the next few days can change Iran's decision in this regard?" he said, "If the Europeans have not included Iran's right to uranium enrichment in their proposal, it would be rejected by us, but if they have any concerns regarding the nature of our enrichment, and the activities in Isfahan UFC Nuclear Complex, we can negotiate over it."

Aghamohammadi said, "Continuing the suspension is out of question, but regarding the limits and restrictions to that activity, Iran is still ready to heed the Europeans' concerns and negotiate with them, because we still count on our talks with the EU."

Head of the Propagation and Information Commission of the SNSC added, "Yet, regarding the timing of resuming our enrichment activities we would consult our European partners and will not break the IAEA seals unilaterally."


Aghamohammadi elaborated on the nature of activities at Isfahan UFC Nuclear Complex elsewhere in the interview, explaining the reasons why Iran has decided to break the IAEA seal at present.

He said, "During our London talks we proposed that Iran should resume activities at its Isfahan plant at limited extent and under EU and IAEA full control. Talks were held on the mechanism of such limitations and we found partners who are ready to receive UF6 from us and deliver Yellow Cake to us instead, and the results in that respect, too, were quite tangible."

On Iran's proposal regarding resuming enrichment activities at Iran's Natanz Nuclear Complex, he said, "We proposed to the Europeans that we would act based on a multi-phased plan in Natanz site. In first phase, if we would reach agreement on it, we would make the site operational, and in later phases, based on mutual agreements, we would take further steps. Therefore, our enrichment proposals were based on a step-by-step plan, in which we were not expecting to resume all activities at once."

Aghamohammadi added, "The continuation of talks regarding fully activating the Natanz Nuclear Complex, too would proceed on condition that our activities would be based on standards of light water reactors. Based on Iran's proposals, the whole process would have been pushed forth under close and constant supervision of not only the IAEA, but also the EU."


Based on latest reports, Iran late Monday agreed to postpone resuming activities in its Isfahan UFC Complex for another 48 hours in response to a request made by IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBAradei so that IAEA inspectors would reach Isfahan at the time the IAEA seals would be broken.

Iran on Monday defiantly took the first steps towards a resumption of its long-and-unnecessarily-halted nuclear work.

Iran handed over a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that formally notified the UN watchdog of the imminent resumption of uranium ore conversion, the precursor to enrichment in the nuclear fuel cycle.

It then announced that in coordination with inspectors from the IAEA it was making the initial preparations to remove the seals placed on a plant in the city of Isfahan and then resume conversion activities after a nine month suspension.

The Islamic republic has yet to announce that production has started -- something it had originally said would take place Monday -- but emphasised the initial steps were mere formalities and there was no going back.

Inspectors from the IAEA are working, controlling (surveillance) cameras and making their own controls so that the seals can be removed," nuclear negotiator Ali Agha Mohammadi said on state television.

Iran has always insisted that conversion -- the process by which uranium ore is converted into a gas for use as a feedstock for enrichment -- is separate and less sensitive than the latter process and furthermore, that Iran's entire nuclear activities are aimed at taking peaceful advantage of the nuclear energy.

... Payvand News - 8/2/05 ... --

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