VIENNA, 26 Nov. (IPS) New Update Iranians and the Europeans in charge of the Iran’s controversial nuclear program met en tete a tete Friday at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to patch up divergences and “misunderstandings” that the surfaced Thursday at the beginning of the Agency’s Board of Directors here in Vienna.
Director General of the international nuclear watchdog, Mohammad ElBarade’i exploded a mini-bomb concerning Iran’s nuclear activities when he informed the 35 members of the Board of Directors that Iran is to keep alive “dozens” of centrifuges while it starts suspending all activities related to enriching uranium.
ElBarade’i exploded a mini-bomb when he informed the Board of IAEA's Directors that Iran is to keep alive “dozens” of centrifuges.
According to the report that Iran Press Service saw a copy, Iran wants to run these centrifuges for Research and Development (R&D), but the report, provided to some correspondents in Vienna by certain “so-called” diplomats, was immediately interpreted as “another sign that the Islamic Republic is backing off from earlier engagements with Europe’s Troika.
In an accord reached in Paris on 15 November 2004, Tehran accepted to interrupt enriching uranium for a limited period, against pledges by Britain, France and Germany to help Iran access to advanced nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes and signing a Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union.
Iranian officials who spoke with IPS in Vienna on condition of anonymity said Iran had informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about running 20 centrifuges for R&D, indicating at the same time that all of them would remain open to inspections by the Agency’s inspectors.
“What one can do with 20 centrifuges while one needs hundreds, if not thousands for producing fuel for generating electricity”, he explained, adding that Iran had never accepted sealing Research and Development centrifuges.
“Maybe the Europeans (the Troika) thought that suspension would also include R&D, for, according to Mr. ElBarade’i, it is a problem between Iran and the Europe’s so-called “Big 3”, not with the IAEA.
In his report to the Board, Mr. ElBarade’i confirms that Iran has in halted all uranium enriching activities, as promised to both the Troika and his organisation, but at the same time states that Iran has conducted experiments to acquire “the know-how for almost every aspect" of the nuclear fuel cycle and details evidence that Iran repeatedly has not given the agency the information and access it has requested.
However, the demand to except some centrifuges badly angered the Troika, which produced a rather strong-tuned draft resolution that calls on Iran to stop all uranium enriching activities and sign the Additional Protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
In London, the British Foreign Office dismissed the Iranian demand. "The agreement stands as it states," an official statement said. "There is absolutely no exception to the agreed suspension of all reprocessing, conversion and enrichment activities".
In Brussels, a European Union official had the same reaction, saying: "The response is no. It has to be no. An agreement is an agreement. This was a stupid move on the part of the Iranians".
The composition of the Iranian delegation at this meeting reflects the hardening of Tehran’s attitude in the nuclear controversy.
Iranian officials were as blunt: “As far we are concerned, difficulties with the (Big 3’s) draft resolution remain and talks we have with them would be difficult and long. Though they have promised substantial changes, but we are not convinced”, the Iranian news agency “Mehr” quoted Mr. Hoseyn Moussavian, one senior negotiator as having said.
In fact, the wording and the tone of the European draft has even angered the group of Non Aligned Movement represented at the Board of Directors.
“This is not to our satisfaction and we have warned the Europeans that if they do not poor some water (in the wine), we would prepare a draft of our own and presented it to the Board”, one NAM member told IPS, asking at the sane time not be named.
In his interview with “Mehr”, Mr. Moussavian, -- who had travelled to Moscow and Peking ahead of the Thursday meeting of the IAEA in order to get their support in case the Iranian case would go to the United Nations Security Council, as pressed by the United States – reiterated that Iran’s suspension of uranium enriching is “temporary and voluntarily”.
Interesting enough, Russia, the country that is building Iran’s first nuclear reactor, the one that the Americans and Israelis suspect would help the ruling ayatollahs to divert the technology to make an atomic weapon aimed at the Jewish State seems to have sided with the Big 3 concerning the R&D centrifuges.
However, under concording pressures, Franch, British and German diplomats agreed to soften their joint draft by changing some words and even formulas, including one that, according to an Iranian diplomat, changed the so-called "trigger mechanism" into a "continuation mechanic", meaning that the issue would eventually stay at Vienna.
“We do not go with Iran about excepting some centrifuges and on that matter, we agree with the European’s stand”, Mehr quoted one Russian diplomat at the IAEA who wished not be named.
As the wrangle continued late Thursday, independent observers in Vienna noted that the composition of the Iranian delegation at this meeting reflects that hardening of Tehran’s attitude in the nuclear controversy.
“The presence in the Iranian negotiating team of some officials known for their “radicalism” in the one hand and the low-profile of the delegates considered as “pragmatist” on the other shows that Iran not only Iran is about to lose patience with the endless talks, but also would push very hard on the centrifuges issue”, informed sources told IPS. ENDS IRAN NUCLEAR 251104