Iran goes head-to-head with the IAEA, again: The head of Iran's nuclear agency said Wednesday that Tehran will not abide any new demands concerning its nuclear program.
Fereidoon Abbasi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said that while Tehran will continue to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it "will not accept any new undertakings" in the matter.
"We have always cooperated with the international body, even beyond some agency standards… But, we will not accept additional undertakings," Abbasi told the state-controlled Fars news agency.
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Wednesday also saw the UN voice its growing concern over Iran's refusal to comply with IAEA guidelines. The Security Council denounced Tehran's failure to abide by UN resolutions calling it to suspend its nuclear program, which the West believes harbors a military agenda.
The Islamic Republic recently announced that it will not suspend or halt its uranium enrichment efforts, maintaining that the atom program serves the country's civilian goals. Iran's 20% uranium enrichment goals can be used for military-grade weapons.
Tehran claims it is lending the IAEA its full cooperation, but UN officials maintain that it does not follow the nuclear watchdog's transparency guidelines.
The Natanz uranium enrichment facility (Photo: AFP)
US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said that both the installation of a uranium enrichment facility and heavy-water reactor at Qom constituted a violation of Security Council resolutions and were a "clear provocation" which the UNSC "finds unacceptable."
Iran's Press TV added that the Islamic Republic will lend its cooperation to the IAEA only of the latter "demonstrates a positive approach to deal with Iran's nuclear program."
Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Tehran's delegate to the nuclear watchdog, said that the UN-appointed body needs to have a "positive approach" towards Iran if it expects it to remain accommodating.
"Iran has repeatedly announced that it opposes nuclear weapons and that all its activities pursue peaceful objectives and are carried out under the IAEA's full surveillance," Soltanieh was quoted as saying.
"The claims about Iran's nuclear arms are baseless," he added.
Soltanieh maintained that the last IAEA report on Iran "contained positive points about (Iran's) cooperation, which were not mentioned in previous reports.
"Certain misunderstandings over Iran's nuclear activities have been cleared up, and the inspections of the country's centrifuge research centers by IAEA have proven that Iran's nuclear activities are peaceful," he said.
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