Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Stresses Exclusive IAEA Oversight

A033411025.jpgTEHRAN (FNA) Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei demanded an end to UN Security Council oversight of Iran’s nuclear program during a meeting with the International Atomic Energy Agency Director Genera, Mohamed ElBaradei here in Tehran on Saturday.

The Leader told ElBaradei that the IAEA should exclusively handle Iranian nuclear questions, not the Security Council.

“There is no justification for Iran’s nuclear dossier to remain at the UN Security Council,” he said.

Ayatollah Khamenei said Iran would not succumb to US pressure on its nuclear program.

“The Americans wrongly assume that they will be able to break the Islamic Republic of Iran by pressuring Iran over the nuclear issue, but they will not be able to bring the Iranian nation to its knees by raising this issue or other issues,” he said.

Iran is under two sets of UN Security Council sanctions for its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment even after the peaceful nature of its nuclear programs and activities was proved.

Washington is pushing for additional UN penalties despite a recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and a similar report by the IAEA head in November which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities, Russia and China increased resistance to any further punitive measures by the Security Council.

Tehran says it never worked on atomic weapons and wants to enrich uranium only to produce fuel for reactors that would generate electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA report.

Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran’s nuclear program has been complicated by the US intelligence.

Not only many Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but also many other world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure unjustified, especially in the wake of recent IAEA reports saying Iran had increased cooperation with the agency.

ElBaradei, who arrived in Tehran on Friday, called for more extensive cooperation between the two sides, and expressed the hope that outstanding issues would be resolved before he presents his next report to the IAEA Board of Governors in March.

Ahmadinejad said during a separate meeting with ElBaradei on Saturday that he hoped the IAEA would not be influenced by the “pressure of big powers” while probing Iran’s nuclear program.

“Some countries assume that the IAEA has been set up to enforce their policies,” Ahmadinejad said. “This assumption disturbs natural and just conditions.”

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