TEHRAN, 13 June (IPS) As the Islamic Republic ruling conservatives adopted for a new stand off with both the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European “Big 3” powers ahead of the Monday meeting of the IAEA Board of Directors, an informed Iranian journalist covering the meetings said “it is going to be business as usual”.
“Usually, it is the Americans that take the initiative. This time, and animated by the idea of bringing Washington in line with their policy of critical engagement with Iran, the three decided to come first in the one hand and stop the possibility of seeing Iran’s case transferred to the United Nations Security Council for decision”, the journalist told Iran Press Service on condition of anonymity.
Diplomats said the United States that pushes for harsher actions on Iran, was generally satisfied with the tone of the draft, but they would call for some kind of deadline for Tehran to come up with the missing information needed to prove or disprove the Islamic Republic's weapons ambitions.
In his Friday sermon, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's powerful second man in charge of the nation said the draft sponsored by France, Germany and the UK as well as the final statement of the G-8 summit reveals that the US and Europe have formed a partnership to deprive Iran of the benefits of nuclear technology to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
He also warned Britain, France and Germany that their latest resolution to be presented at the Monday meeting is “unacceptable” for Tehran and added that Iran had “never yield to pressures and bullying from any one and would not yield in the future”.
"If, indeed, the US and Europe have made the decision and continue in this path, they should know that it is a decision they will definitely regret" warned Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
"If, indeed, the US and Europe have made the decision and continue in this path, they should know that it is a decision they will definitely regret", he warned, quoted by the official news agency IRNA said.
Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, the influential Secretary of the Supreme Council on National Security (SCNS) and Iran’s top negotiator with the IAEA threatened that Iran might stop cooperating with the international nuclear watchdog and the three European nations in case the Resolution is adopted by the Governor.
Last October, Mr. Rohani, who is now sitting at the Majles, agreed with the foreign affairs ministers of Britain, France and Germany to sign the Additional Protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty and suspend enriching uranium against helping Tehran to get advanced nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes.
The draft resolution prepared by Britain, France and Germany calls on Iran to stop “at once” its programmes for enriching uranium and allow IAEA inspectors full access to all Iranian nuclear sites and projects.
But senior Iranian tenors, including some members in the new Majles, or the Iranian Parliament dominated by the conservatives warned that a "strong reaction" was forthcoming if the IAEA rules against Iran and accused France, Germany and the U.K. of breaking promises to make Iran's access to advanced nuclear technology easier.
Iran also reacted strongly to the statement by the Group of Eight (G-8) strongest industrialised nations Wednesday urging the Islamic Republic to abandon all activities aimed at acquiring nuclear weapons and agreed on a one-year ban on the transfer of technology for uranium enrichment and reprocessing.
"The final statement by the IAEA board meeting will be the basis of future decisions by the new parliament", conservative lawmaker Manouchehr Mottaki said, adding that any decision by the IAEA Governors against Iran will prompt the "parliament's retaliation".
"The board decision will definitely affect the parliament's debate whether or not approve the additional protocol to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty", Mottaki told The Associated Press.
Hoseyn Sheikholeslam, another conservative deputy and a former Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister accused the U.K., France and Germany of violating an agreement with Iran to make it easy for Iran to obtain advanced nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
"Britain, France and Germany have violated the Tehran Declaration," said Sheikholeslam. "The Europeans and the world have to deal with us (Iran's new parliament) for the next four years. Breaking promises at the beginning of our work will have an adverse effect on mutual collaboration", AP quoted him as having added.
"If IAEA gives in to U.S. pressure, we will react strongly to defend Iran's national interests...as a lawmaker, I think Iran has to stop cooperation with IAEA and seriously consider withdrawing from NPT", said Mr.Mehdi Kouchekzadeh.
The “Big 3” drafted the resolution after it was found that contrary to its promises, not only Iran had continued enriching uranium unabated, but it had also put into service more advanced centrifuges and had approached European firm for the purchase of some 20.000 magnets used in centrifuges for producing high-grade uranium, an essential part of producing nuclear weapons.
The United States and other nations that insist Iran is after atomic bomb say such purchases are a proof of their arguments, that Iran is using nuclear-powered electricity projects as an attempt to cover up covert activities aimed at making nuclear weapons.
But Mr. Hoseyn Mousavian, the Secretary of the International Department of the SCNS rejected the information, saying “not Iran, but a contractor sought not 20.000 but 150 magnets only for a price of 300 US Dollars”.
According to the semi-independent Iranian Students News Agency ISNA, Mr. Mousavian, in a meeting last February in Brussels, it had been agreed that the EU will help closing Iranian nuclear file at the IAEA “providing that Iran’s cooperation with IAEA is complete and total and that nothing new would be discovered”.
“We will not accept any new obligation", Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Kharrazi told a news conference in Tehran on Saturday. "If anyone asks us to give up Esfahan industries to change yellowcake into uranium hexafluoride gas or to give up heavy-water facilities in Arak, we cannot accept such an extra demand that is contradictory to our legal rights".
Yellowcake is processed uranium ore, mined near the central desert city of Yazd. Uranium hexafluoride gas is pumped into centrifuges that enrich uranium by spinning it.
Finally the only logical way is to pull out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the IAEA, suggests Mr. Hoseyn Shari'atmadari, an advisor to Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i
"Iran has a high technical capability and has to be recognized by the international community as a member of the nuclear club", Kharrazi said. "This is an irreversible path", he added.
His comment followed that of Mr. Mehdi Kouchakzadeh, a staunch anti-American lawmaker urging the authorities to stop cooperation with IAEA and withdrawing from the NPT would be considered as options.
"If IAEA gives in to U.S. pressure, we will react strongly to defend Iran's national interests...as a lawmaker, I think Iran has to stop cooperation with IAEA and seriously consider withdrawing from NPT", he said.
Kouchakzadeh, a former member of the elite hard-line Revolutionary Guards, drew public attention when he chanted "Death to America" during the opening session of the parliament last month.
Dr. Qolamali Haddad-Adel, the new Speaker of the Majles approved his action, though unprecedented in the history of the Islamic Iranian parliament.
Hoseyn Shari’atmadari, a high-ranking intelligence officer specialising in interrogating political and intellectual dissidents appointed by Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i as Editor of the hard line newspaper Keyhan reiterated Saturday that Iran should do away with U.N. interference and follow North Korea's lead.
"Finally the only logical way is to pull out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty", he wrote, repeating what he had suggested more than a year ago.
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