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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran ready to cooperate with IAEA on nuclear dossier - minister

RIA Novosti

06/03/2007 12:22 TEHRAN, March 6 (RIA Novosti) - Iran is prepared to answer any questions about its nuclear research posed by the international nuclear watchdog, the foreign minister said Tuesday.

"If the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has any questions [with regard to Iran's nuclear program], they should ask so that a resolution [for the current crisis] can be found through dialogue," Manouchehr Mottaki said.

The IAEA Board of Governors convened Monday at its Vienna headquarters for a 5-day session to discuss possible suspension of at least 20 aid projects in Iran following the recent report by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei that Iran had ignored a UN Security Council demand to halt its uranium enrichment program and was seeking to expand it.

Iran has been at the center of international concerns since January 2006 over its nuclear program, which some countries, particularly the United States, suspect is geared toward nuclear weapons development. Tehran has consistently denied the claims, saying it needs nuclear power for civilian purposes.

In response to Iran's unwillingness to give up its nuclear ambitions, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1737 last December, which provided for sanctions against Iran banning activities involving uranium enrichment, chemical reprocessing, heavy water-based projects, and the production of nuclear weapons delivery systems.

The Iranian foreign minister reiterated Tuesday that the nuclear watchdog should continue dialogue with Tehran and the country's nuclear dossier should be considered within the legal norms of the IAEA, and not at the UN Security Council.

"[Otherwise], it would violate [international] laws," Mottaki said, adding that Iran cooperates with IAEA on the basis of mutual agreements and the provisions of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

He reiterated that it was possible to resolve the issue only through negotiations. "We can achieve an agreement only by means of constructive negotiations, which will include all [interested] parties," he said.

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