Sunday, December 23, 2007

Threats will influence Iran-IAEA cooperation: official

December 23, 2007

TEHRAN – Kazem Gharib-Abadi of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team here on Saturday warned that Iran will revise its cooperation with UN nuclear watchdog if threats persist.

“Iran is determined to continue cooperation with the (International Atomic Energy) Agency, but threats and pressure will have a negative effect on the process of this cooperation.”

He added that Iran’s nuclear dossier was sent to UN Security Council due to political reasons, however, the Islamic Republic will not give up its alienable right at the wish of certain countries.

“Iran is seeking to access nuclear technology to provide the fuel required for its power plants, and produce electricity for a growing population” he said, stressing, “All these objectives are peaceful.”

The United States was the first country to encourage Iran to develop a nuclear power plant in the 1950s, however, since Iran’s independent policy does not serve the interests of the U.S. and some other countries they are now opposing Tehran’s nuclear activities, he opined.

These countries are angry that Iran has managed to develop nuclear technology under UN sanctions and is currently among a few countries in the world which produces nuclear fuel, Gharib-Abadi observed.

He underlined that the transparency of Iran’s atomic program was confirmed by IAEA officials during their frequent inspections of the country’s nuclear activities.

The official went on to say that the recent U.S. intelligence report also confirmed the peaceful nature of Iran’s atomic plan.

In a report released on Dec. 3, the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) said Iran has no nuclear weapons program and probably can’t produce enough uranium for a bomb until 2010 at the earliest even if it wished to develop nuclear arsenal.

The report conceded that U.S. allegations about Iran’s nuclear objectives have been exaggerated for at least two years.

Although NIE’s report wrongly claimed that Iran had been pursuing nuclear arms before 2003, it was revealed that U.S. reports in 2005 which had accused Iran of seeking nuclear weapons were not true, Gharib-Abadi stated.

He asserted that IAEA reports on the nuclear program confirm that the country was never pursuing nuclear arms, either before or after 2003.

Russia has a good stance on Iran.

Commenting on the cooperation between Iran and Russia over the construction of Bushehr nuclear power station, Gharib-Abadi said, “No doubt in international cooperation every country is seeking to protect it own interests, but the conflicts between Russia and U.S. show that Russia has adopted a good stance towards Iran.”

Russia delivered its first shipment of nuclear fuel to a reactor it is helping to build at Bushehr o Dec. 17.

The director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Gholamreza Aqazadeh has said that Bushehr nuclear power station will be connected to power grid after March 2008.

“Although Russia met its commitment in delivering nuclear fuel to Iran, we are trying to rely on local experts and facilities to be able to continue our activities in case other countries refused to continue cooperation with us,” Gharib-Abadi insisted.

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