France to take avant-garde role on EU-Iran standoff on nuclear program
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Tehran, Oct 15, IRNA
French President Jacques Chirac has personally accepted to sponsor diplomatic talks with Iran on nuclear program.
'Iran' Persian daily said on Saturday that following the cold atmosphere which emerged in Tehran-London relations with Tehran accusing Britain of inciting unrest in Khuzestan province and British accusation that Iran is meddling with Iraqi affairs, France, which had been sponsor of Iran-European countries talks so far, has once again, undertaken its avant-garde role in this respect.
The Persian daily also carried a report about Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki's visit to Beijing saying that Mottaki was upbeat over outcome his talks with Chinese officials.
China believes that Iran-EU standoff about nuclear program should be settled within provisions of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and voiced objection to refer Iran to United Nations Security Council.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice failed Saturday to persuade Russia to refer Iran's nuclear program to UN Security Council.
Despite lengthy meetings with Russian officials, including a long session alone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, it was clear Russia had not changed its opposition to using the Security Council.
The Iranian nuclear question can be handled through the UN nuclear watchdog agency, which is already monitoring nuclear activities in Iran, Lavrov told reporters afterward.
"We think that the current situation permits us to develop this issue and do everything possible within the means of this
organization, without referring this issue to other organizations now," Lavrov said.
Rice said the U.N. Security Council "remains an option" if Iran does not cooperate.
Under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which Iran signed, "nations have that right," Lavrov said.
He added that Iran must not violate the arms pact, which is intended to allow peaceful use of nuclear energy under strict controls but to stop international spread of nuclear weapons and technology.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in his address to the World Summit in New York last September that Iranian nuclear program is transparent and open to IAEA inspection.
"Cameras of the UN specialized agency have been installed over all Iranian nuclear sites monitoring them."
Iran has set up full fuel cycle in line with Safeguards Agreement of IAEA to produce fuel for power plants.
France, Britain and Germany signed Paris Accord with Iran in 2003 to support Iranian nuclear program to generate electricity and asked Iran to give 'objective guarantee' to UN Agency that Iranian nuclear program will not be diverted from civilian purpose.
Iran signed Additional Protocol to Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003 which grants intrusive inspection to UN nuclear watchdog.
Charter of IAEA specified Additional Protocol to NPT as 'objective guarantee' to ensure that nuclear programs of the member states will not be deviated from NPT.
EU member states reneged on Paris Accord and drafted an anti-Iran resolution with IAEA Governing Board on September 24.
They failed to reach consensus with member states of the governing board and put their draft to voting. 12 member states abstained and one state voted against the draft.
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