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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Handing Iran dossier over to IAEA key to nuclear deadlock - FM

RIA Novosti

13/03/2007 16:40 GENEVA, March 13 (RIA Novosti) - Sending Iran's "dossier" from the UN Security Council back to the International Atomic Energy Agency could facilitate a resolution in Iran's nuclear problem, the country's foreign minister said Tuesday.

The IAEA Board of Governors convened last 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.

Manouchehr Mottaki said should the six parties "hand Iran's nuclear case from the Security Council over to the IAEA, my country will be ready to provide the necessary guarantees," adding Iran is ready to ratify an additional protocol to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

He said last week Iran is prepared to answer any questions about its nuclear research posed by the international nuclear watchdog.

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 imposed 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 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.

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