ElBaradei: Stalemate in talks
Photo: AFP
Ahmadinejad: Nuclear issue is finished
Photo: AP

IAEA: We've reached stalemate with Iran

Ahmadinejad says willing to cooperate with UN, but not to negotiate Iran's nuclear 'rights'

UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei stated Monday that IAEA's contacts with Iran have reached a stalemate, and rejected Israeli and French suggestions that he has hidden information about Iran's atomic program as groundless.


ElBaradei delivered a rare public comment on the International Atomic Energy Agency's sensitive inspections work in response to allegations he has sat on "evidence" his critics say point to an Iranian drive to "weaponise" uranium enrichment.


In an address opening a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors, ElBaradei said all information on its Iran investigations released so far had been vetted for substance and the agency would stick to that standard of objectivity.


"I am dismayed by the allegations of some member states, which have been fed to the media, that information has been withheld from the Board. These allegations are politically motivated and totally baseless," he said.


"Such attempts to influence the work of the (IAEA's non-proliferation inspectorate) and undermine its independence and objectivity are in violation of ... the IAEA Statute and should therefore cease forthwith."


No talks on nuclear 'rights'

Earlier Iran will continue its disputed nuclear work and will never negotiate on its "obvious" rights, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday, in comments that are likely to disappoint Western powers.


US President Barack Obama has given the Islamic Republic until later in September to take up a six powers' offer of talks on trade benefits if it shelves nuclear enrichment, or face harsher sanctions.


"From our view point our nuclear issue is finished," Ahmadinejad told a news conference.


"We will continue our work in the framework of global regulations and in close cooperation with the (UN) International Atomic Energy Agency. We will never negotiate on the Iranian nation's obvious rights," he added.


He said Iran, which plans to present its own "package" of proposals to world powers, was ready to negotiate and cooperate on making "peaceful use of clean nuclear energy" available for all countries and in preventing the spread of nuclear arms.


Last Wednesday world powers pressed Iran to meet them for talks on the nuclear program before a United Nations General Assembly meeting later this month.


The West suspects Iran of trying to build nuclear bombs while Iran says its program is for peaceful power generation. It has repeatedly rejected demands to halt its nuclear work.


"We are prepared to sit down to hold talks," Ahmadinejad told the news conference. "We have always been and always will be ready for negotiations and for hearing opinions."


"We haven't heard anyone set a deadline for talks. Cooperation based on respect and justice is contradictory to setting a deadline," he said.


He also said he was prepared to hold a public debate with Obama, who offered a new US approach to Iran when he took office if the Islamic Republic would "unclench it fist" .


"We believe this is the best way for solving global issues," Ahmadinejad said.


Iran has often said nuclear arms have no place in its defence doctrine and called on the United States and other countries with such weapons to dismantle them.


The United Nations Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran since 2006, targeting Iranian companies and individuals linked to the nuclear program. 


פרסום ראשון: 09.07.09, 11:34
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