"The resolution is like an ugly ogre with sharp teeth and big horns. Although the horns are broken and the teeth extracted, but remain the picture of the ugly ogre", said Mr. Rohani
VIENNA-TEHRAN, 13 Mar. (IPS) Iran expressed satisfaction on Saturday of what it termed "a defeat" for the United States at the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying that Washington had not been able to impose a resolution of its liking to the Agency’s Board of Directors.
"Fortunately, all American’s efforts to have the Islamic Republic accused of breach of its engagements did not materlialised and as a result, what had been approved today at noon local time is very different from what the Americans wanted", the semi-official Iranian students news agency ISNA quoted Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, Iran’s senior negotiator with the IAEA as having told correspondents.
The 35-members Board of Directors passed a Resolution backed by Washington on Saturday condemning the Islamic Republic for hiding sensitive nuclear information and installations and indirectly menaced Tehran of strong economic sanctions by the United Nations if it did not cooperate in the future.
"The resolution is like an ugly ogre with sharp teeth and big horns. Although the horns are broken and the teeth extracted, but remain the picture of the ugly ogre", Mr. Rohani, who is the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council for National Security described the resolution that give Iran until next June to make available to the IAEA inspectors all its nuclear-related projects.
He said though the Resolution does not impose new engagements on Iran, "however, we think that its tone is not reasonable, as it has not paid enough attention to the views of China, Russia and the group of non aligned nations".
"The United States is under illusion that except Natanz, Iran has also other secret centres (for enriching uranium) and nuclear activities. This illusion can be seen in sections of the resolution that urges Iran to generalise to all of Iran’s territory the suspension of uranium enriching. The same is with (advanced centrifuges) P-2 that are still at a state of research and have not materialised", he explained.
The P-2 is at the center of bitter controversy between Tehran and the IAEA, as inspectors have discovered them after the October Agreement, in which Mr. Rohani had pledged to report to the IAEA all its nuclear-related activities, equipments and installations.
The Resolution also praises Iran's increased openness to inspections but "deplores" recent discoveries of uranium enrichment equipment and other suspicious activities Tehran had not revealed.
The resolution notes "with serious concern" that the board still does not have "the complete and final picture of Iran's past and present nuclear program," needed by the IAEA to dispel suspicions Iran had a weapons agenda.
As the Resolution was passed, Iran announced that it would delay the next visit of international inspectors, due next week. Though officials explained that the postponement was due to start of Iranian New Year’s holidays that starts on 21 of March, but diplomats at Vienna and in Tehran told IPS that the decision was a signal to the IAEA, meaning Iranian dissatisfaction with the Resolution.
Asked when inspectors might visit again, Rohani replied: "It could be less than six weeks. It could be more than six weeks. We have not set a date."
But Mr. Mohamed ElBarade’i, the Egyptian Director of the international nuclear watchdog expressed confidence that his experts would soon be allowed into Iran.
"I'm pretty confident that Iran will understand that we need to go within the time scheduled, and the decision to delay the inspection will be reviewed and reversed within the next couple of days," he told reporters.
While Mr. Rohani praised the attitude of China, Russia and the group of NAM (Non Aligned Movement) at the Board, he waved the stick and offered the carrot to the European Union, particularly Britain, France and Germany, the three nations that had worked out with him last October Iran’s signing of the Additional Protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty and suspension of uranium enriching activities.
"Europe had a constructive attitude and this even as it was not on the same level as it used to have with us during negotiations. We can regret that, but let’s hope that talks would continue and even expanded", he said, referring to Berlin, London and Paris.
Nonaligned members of the IAEA had tried to tone down the language of the resolution, while Western powers — foremost the United States — wanted to send Iran a harsh warning.
Striking a balance, the 13-nation nonaligned group dropped most of its objections but pushed through wording that effectively defers the threat of Security Council action against Iran until the board meets again in June.
The US ambassador at the IAEA had time and again criticised the European Union’s "Big 3" with Tehran, insisting that the Agreement was an attempt by Iran to gain time and hide covert activities before allowing agency inspectors access to new sites and accused Iran of "continuing to pursue a policy of denial, deception and delay."
"Is it possible that, even as we meet, squads of Iranian technicians are working at still undeclared (nuclear) sites to tile over, paint over, bury, burn or cart away incriminating evidence, so that those sanitized locations can finally be identified to the agency as new evidence of Iran's full cooperation and transparency?" he told the Board of Governors earlier. ENDS IAEA IAN NUCLEAR 13304