Iran Protests at Security Council’s Involvement with N. Issue

A01027481.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- A report from the UN nuclear watchdog shows the Security Council has no business bothering with Iran’s atomic program since all open questions about it have now been resolved, Iran said on Wednesday.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday that Iran had resolved most issues about its past nuclear activities.

“The full implementation of the Work Plan and thus resolution and closure of all the six outstanding issues have undoubtedly eliminated the most basic pretexts and allegations on the basis of which Iran’s peaceful nuclear program was conveyed to the Security Council,” Iran’s mission to the United Nations said in a statement.

Under the so-called work (or action) plan agreed between the IAEA and Iran, Tehran agreed to resolve all outstanding questions about its nuclear activities. The new IAEA report said Iran should provide more information on its missile work.

Iran said that this issue was never part of the work plan and did not have to be resolved. However, the statement said Iran made sincere efforts to resolve the issue.

“Despite the fact that this has not been an outstanding issue between Iran and the IAEA and is a baseless allegation made by certain circles to undermine the positive momentum created in Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA, Iran … has cooperated seriously with the Agency” on this issue, it said.

In the statement, Tehran also reiterated its previous complaints that it has not been allowed to receive copies of the documents behind the allegations that Iran had been researching nuclear warheads.

The IAEA said in April Iran had agreed on steps to clarify by the end of this month the nuclear research allegations.

The accusations were based on intelligence which came from a laptop computer allegedly spirited out of Iran by a defector in 2004 and passed on to Washington, from some other Western countries and from the IAEA’s own inquiries.

The statement also reminded that its nuclear fuel work has been conducted “under Agency containment and surveillance.”

Western diplomats at the United Nations expect the Security Council will likely wait before considering further sanctions against Tehran until it has had a chance to respond to a package of incentives the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, hopes to bring to Iran soon.

The council has imposed three rounds of sanctions on Iran.

The incentives, which diplomats say are essentially the same as those offered to Iran two years ago, are being offered by the five permanent Security Council members and Germany in exchange for a full suspension of uranium enrichment.

Western diplomats familiar with the case said that West’s package of proposals contains no new enticements compared with what was offered to Tehran in 2006.

Iran has so far ruled out halting or limiting its nuclear work in exchange for trade and other incentives, and says it will only negotiate with the UN nuclear watchdog.

Iran has repeatedly said that it considers its nuclear case closed after it answered the UN agency’s questions about the history of its nuclear program.

The United States and its Western allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Iran denies the charges and insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.

Iran is under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West’s illegitimate calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment, saying the demand is politically tainted and illogical.

The US is at loggerheads with Iran over the independent and home-grown nature of Tehran’s nuclear technology, which gives the Islamic Republic the potential to turn into a world power and a role model for other third-world countries. 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 in February – which praised Iran’s truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions on Iran seemed to be completely irrational.

The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran’s cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran’s nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.

Tehran says it wants to enrich uranium merely for civilian purposes, including generation of electricity, a claim substantiated by the NIE and IAEA reports.

Iran has also insisted that 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 Darkhoveyn as well as its first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.

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 finished a tour of the Middle East in winter to gain the consensus of 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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