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UK urged to publish own assessment on Iran nuclear programme

London, Dec 14, IRNA - The British government was challenged Friday to follow the example of the US and publish its own intelligence assessment of Iran's peaceful nuclear activities.

"The time is also ripe for US allies in Europe, especially those who have their own independent analysis, to publicise their assessments," Iranian Ambassador to London Rasoul Movahedian said.

The Foreign Office in London has, however, refrained from commenting on a recent US intelligence report about Iran saying, "It is not the practice of this or previous governments to comment on intelligence matters."

"We expect the British government to let the public know its findings. London can contribute significantly to international peace and stability, as well as its own interests. This can be looked at as an opportunity," Movahedian said.

The call comes after the US declassified the opinion from 16 American intelligence agencies confirming the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear programme.

"The Americans were at least brave enough to present their assessment to the public. This is a sensible act, because issues related to war and peace cannot be decided in the shadows, behind closed doors," the envoy said.

In an article to the Guardian newspaper Friday, he also wrote that recent reports and comments about the US national intelligence estimate (NIE) on Iran's peaceful nuclear programme seem to carry critical significance for many observers.

"The U-turn on Iran by US spy agencies - the biggest since the Iraq debacle five years ago - was not a surprise for Iranians as it was in the United States or for America's allies," Movahedin said.

This, the article said, is "an important move if the Americans now adjust their official stance to concrete realities, as it will help rectify feverish speculation."

"It is good for the American people, for America's allies and for the rest of the world, as it diminishes the threat to peace and security," it said.

The Iranian ambassador suggested that the NIE was "an effort, above all, to reconcile American findings with international reports, particularly those presented by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the sole international and legal body for verification."

"The assessment did not introduce any new material. And while we cannot agree with the content and further ambiguities created by the report, it could be considered, with some amendments, as a step towards further openness in regional and international cooperation, if the reality, which is the right of Iran to develop peaceful nuclear technology, is acknowledged," he stated.

... Payvand News - 12/14/07 ... --

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