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By Safa Haeri
Posted Thursday, March 11, 2004

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“The United States is not anxious of Iranian nuclear weapons, but wants to keep Iran underdeveloped by preventing it of access to nuclear technologies for civilian purposes. Unfortunately, the European Union seems to go along with American bullying”


VIENNA, 11 Mar. (IPS) As Directors at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were putting last touches on a compromise draft of a resolution on Iranian controversial atomic programs, both Tehran and Agency adopted a more aggressive and attitude towards each other, with Iran for the first time criticising the Agency’s boss Mohammad ElBradeh’i and accusing the European Union of breach of agreements passed with Iran last October.

“The United States is not anxious of Iranian nuclear weapons, but wants to keep Iran underdeveloped by preventing it of access to nuclear technologies for civilian purposes. Unfortunately, the European Union seems to go along with American bullying”, an informed source quoted Mr. Hoseyn Fereydoun, an adviser to the Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministers as having claimed.

For its part, the IAEA is pressing Iran to open up all its nuclear projects, particularly in the enriching uranium field and in this order, it wants the United States and European Union agreeing on a resolution that would allow Tehran to continue its cooperation with the Agency without “losing face”, the source told Iran Press Service.

The resolution, which is under extensive debate at the Vienna-based international nuclear watchdog is expected to be approved on Friday, is reported to be a compromise between drafts prepared by the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand condemning Iran for its “past and present failures” to report to the IAEA the full scope of its atomic activities and Britain, France and Germany insisting on the continuation of Iranian cooperation with the Agency.

The compromise text, a copy of which was obtained by the French news agency AFP, condemns Iran for failing to report such crucial technologies as advanced P-2 centrifuge, possibly to weapons grade, but it puts off any immediate reaction, such as declaring Iran to be in non-compliance with the international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a move that would mean the issue being taken up by the UN Security Council and pave the way towards possible sanctions.

According to Mr. Pirooz Hoseyni, the Iranian Ambassador to Austria that also represent his country at the IAEA, the text is an "an act of bullying and putting pressure on the others". "This is against the statute of the IAEA and not fruitful anyway" he observed.

Talking to journalists during the debate, Mr. Hoseyni said Berlin, London and Paris "have tried their best, but we expected more from our European partners".

At the same time, Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Kharazi threatened to end cooperation with the IAEA unless it stopped being "influenced by the Americans", which Mr. Hoseyni accused of putting “too much pressures” on the 35-members Board of Directors.

"We are engaged in cooperation (with the IAEA) and for this to continue the cooperation has to be bilateral. If one side does not respect its obligations, the cooperation will end", Kharazai added after the Iranian government's weekly cabinet meeting.

He was referring to the agreement the foreign affairs ministers of the European Union’s leading powers had reached with Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, Iran’s senior negotiator with the IAEA bringing Iran to sign the Additional Protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty and suspending its uranium enriching programs against allowing Tehran access to advanced nuclear technologies for peaceful and civilian purposes.

Since then, inspectors from IAEA found that Iran was using more advanced equipments, including P-2 centrifuges for enriching uranium, installations it had not reported to the Agency.

But both the European Commission and the IAEA’s Director Mohammad ElBrade’i warned Iran not to end cooperation with IAEA and renew its uranium enrichment activities.

"Iran has been in breach of its obligations for many years and we need to build confidence, a process that takes time" ElBarade’i said, adding, "I think suspension (of uranium enrichment) is a confidence-building measure and, as I said, Iran needs to do everything possible right now to create the confidence required."

In Washington, a senior State Department official warned late Tuesday that Iran was likely to be referred to the Security Council eventually unless it radically altered its attitude on matters relating to its nuclear program.

But Hoseyni responded: "We think that the Americans do not want to accept the fact that Iran is not looking for nuclear weapons programs. This is a fact but they don't want to accept this fact". ENDS IRAN IAEA NUCLEAR 10304



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