ElBaradei’s Report Vindicates Iran’s Peaceful N. Drive

TEHRAN (FNA) – Iran’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Hamid Reza Asefi said on Wednesday that the new report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was very clear and proved that Tehran has never diverted from the peaceful path of its nuclear program.

According to the Iran’s embassy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Asefi made the remark in an interview with the Beirut-based daily ‘Al-Nahar’, adding that IAEA report asserted that Iran has fully addressed six outstanding questions of the agency.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei underlined in the recently-issued report that Tehran has had transparent and good cooperation with UN atomic watchdog, he noted.

Asefi further underscored that the nuclear case should be closed, and the process of cooperation should be normalized.

Since the beginning and even before the issuance of the new report, the US has been exerting pressures on IAEA in this respect, he added.

Responding to a question on Iran’s reaction to a possible resolution of the UN Security Council (UNSC) against its nuclear program, he underlined that Tehran has numerous means to respond to the new resolution appropriately.

The US is at loggerheads with Iran over Tehran’s independent and home-grown nuclear technology. Washington has laid much pressure on Iran to make it give up the most sensitive and advanced part of the technology, which is uranium enrichment, a process used for producing nuclear fuel for power plants.

Washington’s push for additional UN penalties contradicted the recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies that endorsed the civilian nature of Iran’s programs. Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head – one in November and the other one on Friday – which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, Russia and China increased resistance to any new punitive measures by the Security Council.

Tehran says it never worked on atomic weapons and wants to enrich uranium merely for civilian purposes, including generation of electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.

Iran has insisted it would continue enriching uranium because it needs to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it is building in the southwestern town of Darkhovin.

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.

US President George W. Bush, who finished a tour of the Middle East earlier this month has called on his Arab allies to unite against Iran.

But hosting officials of the regional nations dismissed Bush’s allegations, describing Tehran as a good friend of their countries.

Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran has lost steam due to the growing international vigilance, specially following the latest IAEA and US intelligence reports.

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