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Iran's UN Mission says cooperation with U.N. nuclear watchdog has to be in a `routine manner' - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Iran insisted Wednesday that the International Atomic Energy Agency must now deal with its nuclear program in a “routine manner” because it resolved six outstanding issues and the U.N. nuclear watchdog says the program is peaceful.

A press statement from Iran’s U.N. Mission said the IAEA’s latest report on Tuesday also shows that Iran in the past and at present is fully committed to its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty “and has been robustly cooperating with the agency.”

It made no mention of the report’s strongly worded statement that Iran may be withholding information needed to establish whether it tried to make nuclear weapons, or the IAEA’s demand for “all the information, access to documents and access to individuals necessary to support Iran’s statements” that its activities were purely peaceful.

Instead, Iran’s U.N. Mission again rejected allegations of an undeclared weapons program as “baseless,” “totally false,” and aimed at undermining the country’s cooperation with the IAEA.

Intelligence received by the IAEA from the U.S. and other agency board member nations as well as the agency’s own investigations suggest that Iran experimented with an undeclared uranium enrichment program that was linked to a missile project, and that it drew up blueprints on refitting missiles to allow them to carry nuclear warheads.

That intelligence was turned over earlier this year, after the IAEA and the Iranian government had agreed to a work plan to resolve six outstanding issues about Tehran’s nuclear program.

The Iranian Mission’s statement said that even though “the so-called alleged studies” were not one of the six outstanding issues, “Iran in yet another indication of its seriousness in its cooperation with the agency and its determination in leaving no stones unturned in this cooperation has cooperated seriously with the agency on the questions related to this matter too.” But the mission noted that the IAEA said it doesn’t have “all the so-called documents related to these allegations, let alone being able to provide Iran with necessary documents in this regard.”

The U.N. Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend uranium enrichment as a prelude to talks on its nuclear program. But Tehran insists it has a right to enrich uranium for nuclear energy under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and has shrugged off three rounds of U.N. sanctions. The U.S. and key European nations believe that Iran’s ultimate goal in enriching uranium is to produce nuclear weapons.

Iran’s U.N. Mission said the country’s answers to all six outstanding questions about activities that could be linked to a nuclear weapons program “have undoubtedly eliminated the most basic pretexts and allegations” that led to Security Council sanctions. It called the measures “unfair, unwarranted and unlawful.”

The mission quoted from the work plan which said once Iran resolved the questions, “the implementation of safeguards in Iran will be conducted in a routine manner.” “Therefore, and in the wake of the latest reports of the IAEA, Iran’s peaceful nuclear program should be dealt with solely by the agency as a regular item on its agenda, and thus, as envisaged in the work plan, the safeguards implementation in Iran has to be in routine manner,” the mission’s statement said.

Under Iran’s Safeguards Agreements with the IAEA, part of its commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Tehran is obligated to report to the agency six months before it introduces nuclear material of any kind into any facility. It is also subject to inspection of its nuclear facilities.

Soon after Iran’s former top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, was elected speaker of Iran’s Parliament earlier Wednesday, he said Parliament won’t allow Iran’s nuclear dossier to be passed clandestinely between the IAEA and the five permanent Security Council nations, the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China, and Germany who have been trying to promote negotiations.

“Should this behavior continue, the parliament … will set new limits on cooperation with the IAEA,” Larijani warned, without elaborating.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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