Iran will revise cooperation
with IAEA if bias persists

Tehran Times Political Desk

June 2, 2008

TEHRAN - Iran on Sunday warned that it will revise its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog if the Vienna-based agency continues to make decisions on Tehran’s nuclear program under the influence of certain Western powers.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei presented his latest report on Iran’s nuclear activities to the IAEA Board of Governors last week.

The statement noted that Iran at present has only 3500 centrifuges and said the few advanced machines actually running were only in a testing phase. Still, the senior UN official said Iran’s goal of 6000 machines running by the summer was “pretty much plausible.”

The 35-member IAEA Board of Governors plans to discuss the report in the coming days.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said on Sunday that the IAEA statement does not question the peaceful purpose of Iran’s nuclear program.

“Although some parts of the report show that the agency has been under political pressure from some restless and pretext-seeking countries, it contains no negative documentation about Iran’s peaceful nuclear program,” Hosseini told reporters at his weekly press briefing.

He described as positive those parts of the report which underline the non-diversion of
Iran’s nuclear activities toward military purposes and confirm that the program is under the full supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency through camera monitoring and constant inspections.

Hosseini said the report confirms that the IAEA has conducted 14 inspections of
Iran’s nuclear facilities since March 2007.

It also states that the IAEA has not found any documentation corroborating the recent allegations that Iran has been conducting weaponization studies, he added.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman insisted that Iran has cleared up all the ambiguities over its nuclear activities under the modality plan signed by
Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog last August.

“Based on the modality (plan), Iran responded to the remaining issues raised by the agency, and this international organization, in an official written announcement, confirmed that its findings are consistent with
Tehran’s responses.”

However, he accused certain Western powers of pressuring ElBaradei to release an ambiguous report which would provide them an opportunity to devise new pretexts to undermine Iran’s nuclear activities.

“We were expecting more than this from the agency… If it were not for the pressure from one or two countries, the agency could have prepared a better report, which would not have provided any opportunity for some countries that are seeking pretexts to put pressure on us.”

He described the IAEA’s call for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program as an “extra-legal” demand.

“Enriching uranium is the right of all signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Any demands that this legal right be relinquished run counter to the United Nations Charter,” he asserted.

Hosseini also criticized the IAEA, saying the agency has not abided by its commitments since it is continuing to investigate the metal uranium document, an issue which it had previously announced had been resolved.

The report says, “
Iran needs to… provide more information on the circumstances of the acquisition of the uranium metal document.”

“The agency should not permit any pretext of certain countries to affect relations between the agency and this country,” Hosseini added.

Tehran has also forwarded its own “package of proposals” to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany in a bid to help minimize nuclear threats and prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman cited “considerable nuclear cooperation” and suggestions for “solutions to the most important international problems” as the two major points of Iran’s package of diplomatic proposals