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Iran's response to next resolution will worsen situation, Soltanieh warns


TEHRAN, June 16 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali-Asghar Soltanieh, said on Friday that Iran's response to the next UN resolution will make the "situation worse."


Tehran will "not leave unanswered" any measure meant to increase the pressure on Iran and impose sanctions on the country through UN Security Council resolutions "which have no technical or legal justification," Soltanieh told the Mehr News Agency.


Noting that Iran's "patience is running thin", he said, "The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has been continuing... cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency within the framework of its legal obligations, such that the IAEA director general has announced no diversion has been discovered in Iran's nuclear activities and the agency has been able to continue" its test of Iran's honesty.


Pointing to Tehran's decisions to ban 38 IAEA inspectors from visiting nuclear sites and to suspend implementation of the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which were responses to Iran's nuclear dossier being sent to the Security Council and the imposition of resolutions, he warned that similar decisions would be taken "if more pressure is put on Iran."


Undoubtedly, any new resolution against Iran would make the situation worse, Soltanieh said.


"Those who have committed such historic mistakes and sent a purely technical and professional issue to the Security Council should be censured."


The West has demanded that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment activities, despite the fact that Iran is legally entitled to enrichment for civilian purposes as a signatory to the NPT.


Soltanieh said there is no justification for an enrichment suspension and asked the West to acknowledge Iran's technological breakthrough in the nuclear industry.


"Based on ElBaradei's reports and statements, the international community should accept the reality that today, Iran has mastered enrichment technology and the issue of suspension, which has had no legal and technical justification, has lost its political meaning. The international community should adjust itself to this reality."


Snap inspections


Soltanieh confirmed that Iran has agreed to snap inspections of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility by IAEA experts.


"Iran has agreed to unannounced inspections in order to prove the peaceful nature of its activities and show maximum transparency."


Agreeing to snap inspections was a display of goodwill by Iran, which should have allayed all concerns about enrichment activities in Iran, he noted.


IAEA inspectors made an unannounced visit to the Natanz enrichment facility on May 13 and ElBaradei confirmed Iran's cooperation based on its commitments, he added.


NAM supports Iran


At their recent quarterly meeting, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) members of the IAEA Board of Governors issued a statement expressing their support for Iran's nuclear program, which was read out by the Cuban ambassador.


Soltanieh pointed out that at every Board of Governors meeting over the past four years, NAM has issued a statement acknowledging Iran's legitimate right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and has always insisted that voluntary measures, including suspension of enrichment activities, have not been binding.


In its most recent statement, NAM also emphasized that the problem can only be resolved by returning Iran's nuclear dossier to the IAEA and resuming negotiations without preconditions, Soltanieh stated.


NAM strongly took issue with the representatives of the U.S., France, and Britain who had protested to IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei because he said Iran should be allowed some kind of enrichment, he explained.


The other important point in the most recent NAM statement was its support for a resumption of dialogue between Iran and the European Union, which was registered in the IAEA documents, he added.


Unfortunately, for the past four years, a "serious suspicion" has arisen about the West's intentions toward Iran's nuclear program, and Iran has reached the conclusion that the West wants a "full halt to Iran's nuclear activities under the pretext of a temporary uranium enrichment suspension," Soltanieh pointed out.


The three European Union states, Britain, France, and Germany, should make efforts to restore the lost trust, he added.


Asked about the exaggeration of the unimportant remaining issues between Iran and the IAEA by representatives of the EU 3, he said, "The Islamic Republic has announced that it has always been prepared to clear up any kind of ambiguity about its nuclear activities, and it is prepared to give assurances that these activities will not be diverted toward military and banned purposes."


The misunderstanding over Iran's nuclear program began with the observation of nuclear dust on centrifuges, but ElBaradei finally confirmed Iran's statement in June 2004 that the contamination had a foreign origin, he explained.


After the contamination issue was resolved, Iran's nuclear dossier should have been removed from the IAEA agenda, but due to the political motivations of certain countries, the issue was left on the agenda of the board and was even sent to the UN Security Council, he added.


Downgrading voluntary cooperation led to less information


He went on to say that Iran has not violated the agency's Safeguards Agreement by reducing its cooperation with the IAEA, and if the director general has claimed in his reports that the information about Iran's nuclear program has been reduced, it has merely been a result of Tehran's decision to downgrade voluntary cooperation.


Security Council must stop interference


The dispute over Iran's nuclear dossier can only be resolved if the Security Council stops its interference, the dossier is returned to the agency, and negotiations are resumed, without preconditions, Soltanieh observed.


"As the director general's reports have shown, interference by the Security Council has only made Iran's nuclear issue more complicated."


... Payvand News - 6/17/07 ... --

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