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Too early to speak about additional protocol enforcement: Iranian official

Tehran, Nov 24, IRNA - Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Reza Aqazadeh said here Saturday that it is too early to speak about implementation of the additional protocol.

"It is early to speak of implementing the additional protocol.

Once the political issues are closed and westerners' charges are removed, we will speak of it," Aqazadeh told IRNA on Saturday.

Aqazadeh said that having been disarmed of any pretext and justification about past record of Iran's nuclear program, westerners re now focusing their pressure on implementation of the additional protocol.

Aqazadeh said, "The IAEA chief urges even those countries having no uranium enrichment to implement the additional protocol. But since Iran is among a few states that possess nuclear fuel cycle, the issue is more important."

He said the IAEA's call for implementation of the additional protocol does not mean that there are any ambiguity about Iran's cooperation with the IAEA as far as the country's nuclear program is concerned.

"One of the issues of high importance for the IAEA was the bylaw concerning its monitoring of Natanz enrichment facilities, which we finalized it. Today, the Agency has a guideline for monitoring Natanz, which is agreed upon by Iran, but the Agency expects Iran to act beyond NPT and within framework of the additional protocol." He stressed that there is no point in ElBaradei's report that there had been any instance of ambiguity or non-cooperation on the part of Iran in this respect.

Terming westerners' claim about the issue as "rhetoric", Aqazadeh said that from legal point of view, the Agency has confirmed Iran's past nuclear activities, saying its working relationship with Iran had already been set. He added that the Agency, however, has asked for implementation of the additional protocol and westerners use the Agency's call to force Tehran to accept the additional protocol.

"It is too early for any discussion on implementation of the additional protocol because first of all, westerners should be accountable for the charges they have raised against us. We have suffered from this and we have had delays in our activities. They imposed international sanctions against us. The West should say on what ground they have imposed such sanctions against us. The West should apologize to Iran officially for raising such false allegations against Iran?

"Secondly, why the case of Iran's nuclear program should be investigated by the UN Security Council. There is no legal and judicial ground for keeping Iran's nuclear issue in the Council.

"Thirdly, Iran's issue with the IAEA a bilateral matter and within framework of the Agency's charter. Our party is the Agency and other parties have nothing to do with the case. Therefore, there is no reason for us to cooperate with other party beyond the IAEA framework or be accountable to it. We are accountable only to the IAEA," he said.

P1, P2 centrifuges case closed based on IAEA announcement

Aqazadeh said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has in a formal letter to Iran announced that the case of P1 and P2 centrifuges and the issue of the 15-page document on metal uranium have been closed.

He said the IAEA's official letter was submitted to the AEOI envoy late Friday.

"The two sides would hence start dealing with the following subject, i.e. the issue of contamination, based on an earlier agreement," said Aqazadeh.

He said the IAEA representatives will arrive in Iran on December 10 to hold talks with Iranian officials on the source of contamination.

Aqazadeh said the level of the IAEA delegation is not yet known however.

"With closure of the cases of plutonium, contamination in Karaj, the P1 and P2 centrifuges and the document on metal uranium, we are now in final stages of implementing the work plan (agreed upon by Iran and the IAEA). We hope that the remaining problems would soon be settled," he said.

He said that of course, the remaining issues based on the work plan are minor.

Asked about his assessment of the IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei's report and the western media's ballyhoo over the report, Aqazadeh said that before recent meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, western media were focusing on the issue that the most important subject regarding Iran's nuclear issue was the P1 and P2 centrifuges.

Even in the annual IAEA General Assembly meeting in September, the EU envoy, while supporting the Iran-IAEA agreement, announced that the Union is looking forward to hearing about decision of the IAEA Board of Governors' November meeting on the P1 and P2 centrifuges, said Aqazadeh, adding that the IAEA has times and again said that all the sensitive questions on Iran's nuclear program were related to enrichment and its chronology and if the issue is settled, there would remain no problem unsolved.

He said, "Westerners thought that we would fail in dealing with the P1 and P2 centrifuges. But on the threshold of the recent IAEA Board of Governors meeting they realized that our statements on the issue were the same as that of the IAEA findings; so, they became highly embarrassed."

"Having become aware of the conclusion of ElBaradei's report before its release, they got embarrassed and in a bid to downplay the success, they added 10 pages of extra questions. They realized later however that the subject was not so much effective. Now they try to downplay the issue of the P1 and P2 centrifuges. They resort to certain political issues and the additional protocol to overshadow the P1 and P2 centrifuges," he said.

He said ElBaradei's recent report thwarted the West's allegations and it became clear that Iran has been pursuing peaceful nuclear activities based on its commitments. "Since the beginning too, all the country's activities have been within framework of the program for fuel supply and development of nuclear energy," he added.

He announced, "The IAEA's approval of Iran's past statements on the P1 and P2 centrifuges is extremely significant because it annulled the charge of concealment."

He said that furthermore, settlement of the issue removed any legal justification for keeping Iran's nuclear case in the UN Security Council because westerners' allegations and suspicions were thus annulled. The IAEA's report made it clear that Iran's peaceful nuclear activities have been within framework of laws and regulations and no ground remains for charging Iran with concealment, noted Aqazadeh.

The Iranian nuclear official said settlement of the issue of the P1 and P2 centrifuges gave way to removal of many marginal issues and the remaining problems are related to the source of contamination and the 210 polonium.

FMP plant to supply fuel to Arak facility by Sept 2008 Aqazadeh said that the FMP plant will be able to supply Arak 40-megawatt research reactor with fuel by September 2008.

"Fuel pellets for Arak 40 megawatt research reactor have been produced based on standards and fuel rods for Arak research reactor's fuel will be produced at ZPP plant too," Aqazadeh told IRNA.

Aqazadeh said that product samples of the two factories, i.e. ZPP and FMP, are in final stage of tentative operation.

Asked about claims that the process for installation of centrifuges has slowed and that IAEA had announced Iran injected UF6 gases to centrifuges less than expected and did enrichment even less than the declared level of 4.8 percent, Aqazadeh said, "When cascades are operating, that's up to operator to fluctuate uranium enrichment between one and 20 percent. We need an average four percent enrichment to produce fuel for nuclear power plants. And the point that the Agency has announced our enrichment is in the four percent level is positive. We do not need to go beyond that level. We are gaining new experience in enrichment. What we have today at our disposal is that 3,000 centrifuges are working simultaneously, we inject gas to all of them and the machines work on a natural process. Therefore, what has been mentioned in ElBaradei's report in that respect is not negative."

Asked about plans for installation of 56,000 centrifuges on Natanz enrichment facilities, Aqazadeh said, "We have no change or reconsideration in mind as far as the plan we intended in Natanz. We will proceed based on a pre-determined plan."

To a question about recent meeting of IAEA Board of Governors, Aqazadeh said the session was extremely important and proved the righteousness of Iran.

"In my view, we witnessed in the session the most successful period of settling our problems with the IAEA. Therefore, due to their weight in the session, westerners tried to downplay it (the success) by raising controversies. The weight of settling the problem with the P1 and P2 centrifuges cannot be tied to few sentences of the report, including implementation of the additional protocol settlement of the case, ruled out all the West's allegations."

He added, "I consider recent IAEA Board meeting as a very big success for the AEOI and the Iranian nation because it would open a new chapter in westerners' failure to abuse the IAEA. Therefore, westerners try to direct their pressure towards political issue and implementation of the additional protocol."

Elsewhere in the interview, Aqazadeh recommended westerners to try to direct Iran's issue into the channel of settlement rather than raising hues and cries.

"Now, in my opinion, conditions are completely ripe for Iran and the West to reach compromise so as to close Iran's nuclear case and save the world from false tumult. Westerners are now provided with the sort of justification they wished to extend to the world public opinion, that is Iran's cooperation with the IAEA. Therefore, I advise them not to toe the American line."

... Payvand News - 11/24/07 ... --

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