IAEA to Table New Report on Iran

A00947639.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- The International Atomic Energy Agency will present a new report on Iran’s nuclear program to its board of governors in Vienna on Monday, an IAEA official said.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei “will most likely forward a new report on Iran to the 35-nation Board of Governors on Monday”, a spokesman of the UN nuclear watchdog said on Friday.

Washington 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 insists that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Despite the rules enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) entitling every member state, including Iran, to the right of uranium enrichment, Tehran is now under three rounds of UN Security Council sanctions for turning down West’s calls to give up its right of uranium enrichment.

Tehran has dismissed West’s demands as politically tainted and illogical, stressing that sanctions and pressures merely consolidate Iranians’ national resolve to continue the path.

Last month, Tehran hosted several rounds of talks between Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, which deals the nuclear program of the country, and the IAEA in a bid to still boost cooperation between the two sides.

The Islamic Republic says that it considers its nuclear case closed as it has come clean of IAEA’s questions and suspicions about its past nuclear activities.

This is while the United States proposed further sanctions on Iran this week. Russia has rejected the demand and warned that it would veto any such decision by the UN Security Council.

Political observers believe that the United States has remained 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.

The US attempt to push for stronger Security Council sanctions was further undermined by the country’s own national intelligence estimate, published in late 2007, which said Iran is not pursuing a weapons program.

Washington’s push for additional UN penalties also contradicts reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohammed ElBaradei – 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.

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.

The UN nuclear watchdog has also carried out at least 14 surprise inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites so far, but found nothing to support West’s allegations.

The Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog continues snap inspections of Iranian nuclear sites and has reported that all “declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted to prohibited activities.”

In his latest report the IAEA chief verified the “non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran”, confirming that Tehran enriches uranium-235 to a level of 3.7 percent, a rate consistent with the construction of a power plant.

Observers believe that the shift of policy by the White House to send William Burns – the third highest-ranking diplomat in the US – to the latest round of Iran-West talks happened after Bush’s attempt to rally international pressure against Iran lost steam due to the growing international vigilance.

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.

Many world nations have called the UN Security Council pressure against Iran unjustified, especially in the wake of recent IAEA reports, stressing that Tehran’s case should be normalized and returned to the UN nuclear watchdog due to the Islamic Republic’s increased cooperation with the agency.

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