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Iran demands change in IAEA structure

Press TV - Iran's top nuclear envoy says the structure of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gives an unfair advantage to Western states.

"The structure of the Board of Governors has been molded in such a way that gives Western states the majority votes and so the ability to manipulate the Agency's activities," Iran's ambassador to the IAEA told a local news agency on Sunday.

"The IAEA statute allows the more developed countries of every region to take up a permanent seat at the Board of governors and that is how 10 states have managed to prevent any real change in the structure of the Agency," he added.

Soltanieh was referring to efforts underway by Iran and other developing states to make a change at the IAEA by supporting a motion that would see the number of seats on the Board increase from 35 to 41, giving Middle Eastern states greater power.

The envoy said that the motion had been passed at the General Assembly but had not been implemented as it awaited parliamentary approval in at least two thirds of member states.

Soltanieh's comments came just days after the IAEA Board of Governors issued a new resolution, calling on Iran to halt the construction of its Fordo enrichment plant, located to the southwest of Tehran.

During the Sunday interview, Soltanieh once again announced that Iran's stance had not changed.

The resolution was passed despite a recent IAEA report confirmed for the twenty first time that Iran's nuclear program had not diverted off the peaceful path.

Iranian politicians have criticized the Agency over the resolution, calling it a political move, made under pressure from Britain and the US.

Some countries from the Non-Aligned Movement including Indonesia, Brazil and Egypt criticized the passage of the resolution.

Brazilian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency who abstained from voting to censure Iran over the construction of the Fordo enrichment plant said "dialogue is better than confrontation."

Imposing more sanctions on Tehran "will only lead to a hardening of the Iranian position," Ambassador Antonio Guerreiro said on Saturday.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki told journalists on Saturday: "The resolution on the Iranian nuclear dossier does not take into account its regional aspect,"

He added that the UN nuclear watchdog's resolution should have also mentioned Israel's nuclear arsenal and nuclear disarmament in the Middle East.

... Payvand News - 11/30/09 ... --

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