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Iranian FM: Referral to UNSC will end voluntary cooperation with IAEA

Tehran, Jan 30, IRNA-Referral of Iran's nuclear case to the United Nations Security Council or notice to the Council to this effect will definitely end Iran's voluntary cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, said Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on Sunday evening.

"If the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) decides to refer Iran's nuclear case to the Security Council in its next meeting (Feb 2), the Additional Protocol will be the first victim of such a decision," warned the minister.

The Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty was implemented in the past even without the approval of Majlis and gave the agency the right to conduct snap inspections on Iran's nuclear installations.

His remarks were made at a joint press conference held Sunday evening with the visiting Omani Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi Abdullah.

The IAEA's governing board is to hold an emergency meeting in Vienna, Austria on February 2-3 to discuss Iran's dossier.

Criticizing the decision to hold the emergency meeting, Mottaki said that it would have been better if "our hasty friends in Europe" wait until the IAEA governing board's scheduled ordinary meeting on March 6.

In that case, added the FM, "there would be more opportunities to hold negotiations and reach an understanding that is satisfactory for both sides." Mottaki also expressed the hope "Tehran's friends in Europe will be logical in dealing with Iran's nuclear case and not give in to political pressure or bias which clearly characterizes the current propaganda campaign."

He noted that many member states of the IAEA's governin board as well as the Non-Aligned Movement troika (Malaysia, South Africa and Cuba) as well as Russia and China all favored a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff within the confines of the IAEA.

Referring to comments made Saturday by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on the issue, Mottaki said that his statements were a "delayed confession on wrong policies policies adopted by European states toward Iran in the past."

"This confession was late. We hope that in the future they will not have to again confess that the policy they are now pursuing is wrong," the minister stressed.

In a conciliatory tone, Straw said in Davos that the (nuclear) talks had to come up with a bargain that would allow Tehran to maintain its national dignity.

The British foreign minister admitted that Iran had been badly treated by the international community in the past.

"We advise them (Europeans) to avoid adopting hasty and wrong policies toward Iran," Mottaki said, and pointed out that Tehran was itself in favor of having its nuclear case settled through "effective talks that will lead to a comprehensive understanding." The minister further pointed out that Tehran had also expressed the desire that upcoming talks would be positive and "not further complicate the issue."

Mottaki informed that he would be traveling to London on Monday to participate in a donor conference on Afghanistan with the possibility that he would be talking to other foreign ministers" (on the nuclear issue).

... Payvand News - 1/30/06 ... --

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