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Boroujerdi offers nuclear talks on Iran's proposed package

Tehran, Dec 14, IRNA - A parliamentarian said on Sunday that negotiations within the framework of Iran's proposed package is the best solution to Iran's nuclear dispute.

The head of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi told reporters that talks, based on the recognized principles of the UN nuclear watchdog and the Non-Proliferation Treaty as well as the framework proposed by the two sides' proposed packages are the best possible solution.

He made the remarks when a reporter said that the EU Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana has expressed hope to meet Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili soon.

Asked about reasons behind absence of Iran in the Persian Gulf Security Conference in Bahrain, Boroujerdi said the SNSC has made such a decision.

On recent remarks made by the US President-elect Barack Obama on exerting pressure on the Islamic Republic, he said Tehran did not expect to see any change in the US foreign policy through election of the new president.

He added that the American people elected Obama since he had promised the nation to make changes in the country's past policies.

The Islamic Republic of Iran will show appropriate reaction to Obama's performance as of January 20, 2009, when he takes office at the White House, the MP noted.

As to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's letter to Obama, he said, although the president has outlined Iran's stand in his letter, there is no hope for seeing a fundamental change in the US approach toward various world developments.

Due to the Zionists lobbies in the US and their influence in the US Administration, there is weak hope for any changes, he added.

Soltanieh: Nuclear secrets or nuclear pride?

Vienna, Dec 14, IRNA - There are no secrets in Iranian nuclear program, Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh said in Vienna.

"Iran is proud of its nuclear program and doesn't try to hide anything."

Soltanieh sat down earlier this month for an extensive interview with the Los Angeles Times, some of which appeared in today' s paper.

Soltanieh, a former nuclear scientist and an alumnus of Utah State University, said that Iran has stuck to the letter of international law, and that it has been as transparent as possible. Below are some more excerpts from the interview:

Los Angeles Times: What was the reason for Iran to hide its nuclear program for so many years? Why not be transparent from the beginning?

Ali Asghar Soltanieh: I am thankful that you challenge me. That's what I really love, to be challenged either by journalists or even in many, many countries I go, universities, parliaments, because otherwise this question would be unanswered.

Since six years ago, they spoke about "concealment by Iran." ... I categorically reject "concealment" as far as our legal obligation is concerned.

When in 2003 this matter was reflected to the world ... we were only under the comprehensive safeguards of the [Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty], and according to that, all countries are only obliged to report to the agency, 180 days, before they put nuclear material in any nuclear installations.

Therefore, in 2003 [IAEA Director-General Mohamed] ElBaradei was invited, invited by us, to come to the Natanz enrichment facility, and to see the achievements that these machines are rotating 1,000 rotation per second, as a great success.

Mr. ElBaradei as a top legal expert did not say, "You have violated your NPT obligation," because Natanz still was not receiving nuclear material.

Legally, you have to understand, we have not had violations.

Never, ever [have] the agency or Director-General [ElBaradei] used the notion of noncompliance. Any country might have failure. There were a series of failures.

For example, Iran was supposed to report receiving the material 12 years ago, but it reported 10 years ago.

These are failures. According to statute and according to safeguard agreement, corrective measures will clean everything. It means as soon as you report, it's OK.

LAT: Maybe you are not obliged according to the law, but why not be transparent to just create a state of confidence?

Soltanieh: Confidence is two-way road, it's not one-way. We have had before a revolution, a lack of confidence and a history of adversity with Americans, occupying Iran during the shah's regime, making a coup d'etat, interfering to our internal affairs. Over 40,000 military advisors were in Iran, all different sectors they were influencing.

"After the revolution, the West did not continue their legal obligations for nuclear contracts in different areas of nuclear energy, including the Bushehr nuclear power plant. The Germans had received over 7 billion deutschemark, and they left it alone, they left us alone....

"Bear in mind the fact that there is a serious concern about leak of confidential information.

"We wanted to make sure that we get this achievement, everything is ready for inviting the IAEA to visit, to inform the whole world of our success.... How can the people believe that you call this matter "a concealment" when by satellite one could read the nameplates of the cars? ... This is ridiculous.

"I can tell you that, in 2003, when we were going with the car, with the inspectors and the officers of the agency ... and you have some sort of area on the right, deserts, and then all of a sudden then these buildings start.

"This is nothing hidden. Just next to the main road, everybody was seeing it every day. Many of these buses going there, the bus driver was calling out, "Atomic station, anybody want to go out?" "In all nuclear facilities of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran -- in Esfahan, in Tehran, in Karaj, in Bushehr, in Arak -- everything has a large plate with the name, "Atomic Energy Organization of Iran," and then the center of so and so.

"Therefore, everybody, every individual, can see it. We have nothing to hide. In fact, we are proud. We want the whole world to know that we have been successful in nuclear technology."

... Payvand News - 12/14/08 ... --

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