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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran calls for technical, legal approach to national nuclear program

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Vienna, Sept 22, IRNA
Iran's permanent representative to the Vienna-based international organizations, Mohammad-Mehdi Akhoundzadeh, said that technical and legal aspects of Iran's civilian nuclear have been ignored and the international community has been misled with biased, politicized and exaggerated by certain quarters.

Speaking at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting, he added that Iranian nuclear issues, which should have been dealt in a purely technical manner within the IAEA framework have been politicized.

"Financial contribution by certain countries could not be the basis to fabricate the false allegations against member states," he said.

Addressing the Head of the IAEA Board of Governors Catherine Hall, he noted that the phrase "Concealment" is incorrect and misleading.

"Lack of reporting of the activities such as establishment of nuclear facility which Iran was obliged to inform the agency through DIQ from under its Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (INFCRC/214), only 180 days before the defined nuclear material are feed in, is not a concealment.

"It has to be recalled that when some of the activities, design and construction of facilities started, the Additional Protocol even did not exist. This provision was applied to facilities such as enrichment plant at Natanz, Uranium Conversion Plant (UFC), which the agency was informed even four years before Iran was obliged to do so," he added.

Akhoundzadeh noted that the last but not the least is the fact that the agency is legally neither in position nor could it judge the intention of member states thus the concealment phraseology is out of context.

"Just as an example to support my statement on misinterpretation and misjudging, I would like to inform you that according to the comprehensive safeguards, the uranium ore concentrate known as yellow cake is not subject to any safeguards procedures other than the notification of imports and exports referred to in paragraph 34 (a) and (b) of the Safeguards Agreement.

"Iran had imported 530 tons of the material and informed the agency accordingly. Although such materials are pre-safeguarded, this material has been fully verified by he agency in 1998. The DIQ of the UFC has been submitted to the agency in 2000 that is sooner than being obliged to," he added.

The official noted that Iran had during the last 26 years used a total of only 57 kgs of such materials in several laboratory scale researches, some as student thesis.

"In several occasions the results of these researches were published, presented at international conferences and even reflected in the IAEA fellowship application forms," he said.

"As a result of corrective measures and other activities by Iran, the agency was able by November 2004 to confirm certain aspects of Iran's declarations (related to conversion activities and laser enrichment), which as indicated to th board, would be followed up as matters of routine safeguards implementation under the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol."
Turning to the issue raised at the EU statement on Gachin mine, he said that it has to be noted that although Iran has not been obliged to inform about the uranium mines under its comprehensive safeguards (UNFCIRC/214), it had given comprehensive information on mines including the Gachin, published in the IAEA book called "Uranium Resources, Production and Demands" known as "Red Book".

"In this regard, according to the Additional Protocol: Iran shall provide the agency with a declaration containing information specifying the location, operational status and the estimated annual production capacity of uranium mines.

"It is therefore strange to note that the EU has highlighted a minor issue such as the coverage of the name of a technician who has prepared drawing of ore grinding process as reason to refer Iranian issue to Security Council!" added Akhoundzadeh.

With respect to the statement made by the EU, he said, "The total number of unprocessed irradiated UO2 targets stored in containers turned out to be much higher than the number previously declared" is misleading, since the agency is aware of the fact that the total number of batches was meant and not the number of individual containers.

"As the agency is aware, the relevant issue is the amount of the irradiated nuclear material, which has been consistent with the declared amount, not the containers, which are to be disposed as waste!
"Concerning the statement on the Polonium, it seems that EU has not recognized the fact that Polonium is not a nuclear material and any activity related to its production or use is not reportable under the comprehensive safeguards and even additional protocol.

Iran has however in spirit of cooperation has provided information about research project, which was terminated over a decade ago," he said.

Akhoundzadeh pointed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remarks on September 17, 2005 that Iran is prepared as a confidence building measure to engage in serious partnership with private and public sectors of other countries in the implementation of the fuel cycle.

"This process provides utmost transparency and gives a solid basis for the best solution to this unwanted impasse."
He noted that interaction as well as technical and legal cooperation with the IAEA would be the centerpiece of Iran's nuclear policy.

The official added that initiation and continuation of negotiations with other countries would be carried out in the context of Iran's interaction with IAEA.

Aware that some concerns have raised about Iran's resumption of conversion activity and of the need to demonstrate the peaceful purpose of activities.

"I would like to reiterate, as has been mentioned in the director general's report that all activities in the UCF are under the complete and full supervision of IAEA and the product of UCF is under IAEA seal," he concluded.

Meanwhile, the director general informed the board that since October 2003, Iran's cooperation has improved appreciably.

A major measure taken by Iran as the basis of his assessment follows:
"Provision of access to military sites such as Kolahdouz, Lavisan-Shian and Parchin following the allegations by a certain country and the opposition terrorist group supported by it.

"The results did not reveal any indications of activities involving the use of nuclear material and the agency's inspectors did not see any relevant duel-use equipment or material. Thus it proved the allegations to be baseless."

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