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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran urges the UN to hand over its 'nuclear file' to IAEA

RIA Novosti

25/12/2007 16:53 TEHRAN, December 25 (RIA Novosti) - It is time Iran's "nuclear file" was returned from the UN Security Council to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the country's foreign minister said on Tuesday.

"Since there is no evidence that Iran has deviated from [the peaceful nature of] its nuclear program... the time has come for the parties dealing with the [Iranian] nuclear issue to make a bold and logical decision and return the matter to the IAEA," Manouchehr Mottaki said.

The foreign minister also said yesterday that Iran had turned down demands by the United States to halt its uranium enrichment program as a precondition for direct negotiations with Washington.

"Following the publication of a U.S. intelligence report on Iran, U.S. politicians have begun talking about certain preconditions for negotiations. But we do not accept any conditions," Mottaki said.

He said U.S. sanctions against Iran, ongoing international pressure, and the double standards practiced by the U.S. administration in the fight against terrorism contradicted the White House's statements regarding its readiness to begin a dialogue with the Islamic Republic.

"The Americans have to prove first that they are not pursuing their own interests, but are working on a new approach [with respect to Iran]," the minister said.

The U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), published on December 3, stated that Tehran had put a stop to weapons production in 2003, although it was continuing to enrich uranium.

The report contradicted a previous U.S. intelligence assessment in 2005 which said that the Islamic Republic was actively pursuing a nuclear bomb.

U.S. President George W. Bush remained hawkish, despite the report, saying that, "Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the know how to make a nuclear weapon."

When asked if military action remained an option, the president answered, "The best diplomacy - effective diplomacy - is one in which all options are on the table."

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