A report from the UN nuclear watchdog agency on Thursday found Iran to be generally truthful about key aspects of its nuclear history. The White House said it would continue to push for a third round of UN sanctions against Iran despite the findings by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report.
The IAEA report, released to its 35 board members, also confirmed that Tehran has continued uranium enrichment activities.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said the report indicated that Iran has not suspended its enrichment-related activities and continues to defy the international community.
“We believe that selective cooperation is not good enough,” she said.
But top Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili said the report shows that new sanctions would be “illegal action,” adding that Iran has answered all the questions by the IAEA and made “good progress” in cooperating with it.
In light of the IAEA report, “many accusations are now baseless,” Jalili said, referring to US assertions that Tehran is pursuing nuclear weapons.
“Those powers who base their accusations on this I hope will reconsider what they say,” he said.
If new UN sanctions are approved, “you should be asking what is the logic in this,” Jalili told reporters in Tehran.
A senior UN official said that language did not mean that the IAEA’s investigation into past enrichment activities was “closed,” even though a work plan between the agency and Tehran set November as the deadline for clearing up the issue.
In Washington, the State Department suggested that China was blocking plans for a new meeting, tentatively set for Monday, of the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany to discuss a new sanctions resolution.
Jalili insisted Iran has an irrefutable right to its nuclear program.
“Iran has shown it is working within the framework of the law but at the same time, we want our (nuclear) rights,” Jalili said. “We have done everything to have a peaceful nuclear program.”
He said the IAEA report listed a “number of articles that refer to Iran’s cooperation with the agency” and that this shows claims of nuclear material being used for a military program have been false.
Jalili insisted Iran was enthusiastic about continuing talks with the IAEA, which he said now has “complete supervision” of Iran’s uranium enrichment program.