British FM: Iran fails to cooperate over its nuclear programme
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 20 /Trend T.Konyayeva/
Iran's nuclear program continues to raise serious concerns and its recent nuclear achievements offer no assurance of Tehran's peaceful intentions, British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference in Vienna, the official statement reads.
"The Director General's latest report reminds us that that Iran continues to defy UN Resolutions and is failing to cooperate fully with the IAEA over its nuclear programme. The latest report once again flags the possible military dimensions to the Iranian programme and the increasing concerns of the Agency," Burt said.
Earlier, in September, the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano announced plans to publish new information backing up his belief that Iran may be working on a nuclear warhead - developments that leave his organization "increasingly concerned", The Washington Post reported.
In his report Amano urged the Islamic Republic to show more openness on other nuclear issues of concern.
Burt noted that the UK fully supports the Director General and his staff in the work they are undertaking in relation to past or current undisclosed activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.
"The Agency's report on Iran once again makes it clear that while Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation the Agency cannot conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities," he said.
Burt underscored that Iran needs to take steps to restore confidence which are clearly set out in IAEA reports and UN Security Council Resolutions.
"Resolution of this issue remains one of the UK's top priorities and we are committed to working with our E3+3 partners and the EU High Representative to play our part in a negotiated solution - but Iran must show that it is prepared to negotiate seriously, without preconditions," minister said.
In mid-September, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran and chief negotiator on the nuclear issue Saeed Jalili sent a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton with a proposal to begin new talks on Iran's nuclear program.
The last round of negotiations on Iran's nuclear program took place in January 2011 in Istanbul.
According to Ashton, who represented at the talks the "six" (five permanent Security Council members - Britain, China, Russia, USA, France plus Germany), the talks ended without result.
Ashton said that Iranian officials made "unrealistic" demands in the negotiations - lifting of UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic and the agreement under which Iran would continue its research in the field of nuclear energy.
The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran has denied the charges, saying its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity and producing isotopes to treat medical patients.
The United Nations has imposed four rounds of Security Council sanctions over Tehran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or materials for an atomic bomb.