Iran's parliament oblige government to review IAEA cooperation

Iran Materials 27 December 2006 12:26 (UTC +04:00)

(Reuters) - Iran's parliament passed a bill on Wednesday obliging the government to review the level of its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency in reaction to a U.N. sanctions resolution passed against the Islamic Republic.

The move comes after the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously on Saturday to impose sanctions on Iran's trade in sensitive nuclear materials and technology, in an attempt to stop uranium enrichment work that could produce material to be used in bombs.

"The government is obliged to revise its cooperation level with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," said the bill, which was read out during a parliament session broadcast live on state radio, reports Trend.

The bill was given double urgency status, meaning that it took precedence over regular legislation. It was backed by 167 deputies of 207 present in the 290-seat chamber.

It has to be approved by the hard-line Guardian Council, a watchdog body, before becoming law. It did not specifically order the government to end U.N. inspections of atomic facilities, as some politicians had demanded.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday those who backed the U.N. resolution, drawn up by Britain, France and Germany but supported unanimously by the Security Council, would soon regret their "superficial act."

Ahmadinejad also hinted that the resolution, which he said was a "piece of torn paper," would alter Iran's relationship with the IAEA.

Political analysts say the conservative-dominated parliament wanted to send a message to the outside world that hardliners in Iran could force the government to adopt a tougher line.

Last February Iran ended voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that allowed for short notice IAEA inspections of its nuclear sites, after being reported to the U.N. Security Council.