No problem with IAEA probes within NPT, says Tehran

Other News Materials 19 November 2008 22:47 (UTC +04:00)

In initial reaction to the latest report by the United Nations nuclear watchdog on Iran's nuclear activities, Tehran said Wednesday it had no problems with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection of its nuclear sites as long as they are made within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), dpa reported.

"We have enabled the IAEA access to our nuclear sites in line with NPT and the accord with the IAEA and the same trend will also be continued in the future," Mohammad Saeidi, the deputy head of the Iranian Atomic Organization, told the official news agency IRNA.

In his latest report on Iran to IAEA member states, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said that "regrettably, as a result of the lack of cooperation by Iran in connection with the alleged studies and other associated key remaining issues of serious concern, the Agency has not been able to make substantive progress on these issues."

While officials close to the IAEA had said in September that the agency and Tehran were in a "gridlock", the current situation was worse, the official said Wednesday, because there was no substantial communication between the two sides.

According to Saeidi, Iran's cooperation with the IAE was only within the NPT, indicating that as Iran stopped implementation of the IAEA Additional Protocol, inspections could no longer be effected without prior notice but after coordination with Tehran.

"We will continue our constructive cooperation with the IAEA on NPT basis and it seems that the IAEA should gradually adopt its cooperation on the same basis," Saeidi said.

The IAEA has received documents from a number of member states indicating that past Iranian projects on missiles, high explosives and uranium conversion could have been related to nuclear weapons work.

Tehran has stated that some of the documents were forged, and that some of the alleged research activities were not related to the nuclear field.

Iran needed to provide the IAEA with substantial information "to support its statements and provide access to relevant documentation and individuals on this regard," ElBaradei wrote.

"There are some demands coming from the UN Security Council (and not from the IAEA) and considering the fact that all modalities have already been implemented, there are de facto no remaining issues left." Saeidi said, indicating that charges made outside the direct IAEA framework would be regarded by Iran as irrelevant.

Iran says that numerous inspections by the IAEA have proved Iran's claim that its nuclear projects were solely for peaceful and civil purposes and demands therefore the return of its nuclear dossier from the UN Security Council to the IAEA in Vienna and be dealt with as a normal case.

The 35 countries represented on the IAEA's governing board are set to discuss the lack of progress on the Iranian nuclear issue at a regular meeting on November 27 and 28 in Vienna.