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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Soltanieh criticizes IAEA's double standards

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Dec. 3, IRNA -- Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) insists that resolutions of the IAEA Board of Governors and the UN Security Council against the Islamic Republic have no legal basis.

Addressing the year-end meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors in the Austrian capital on Thursday, Iran's IAEA Envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh criticized the West's carrot and stick policy approach towards the Islamic Republic of Iran's nuclear program, adding that the agency has made it clear that after eight years of vigorous inspections, has never found a single scrap of evidence pointing to a military diversion in the country's civilian nuclear work.

The Iranian diplomat made the remarks ahead of the upcoming comprehensive talks with the P5+1 group -- Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US plus Germany -- scheduled to resume on December 6 in Switzerland.

Soltanieh condemned double standard policies pursued by some major powers concerning Iran's nuclear program, reiterating that in one breath they advocate talks over their nuclear standoff with Iran and in the same breath they impose sanctions.

He then insisted that 'these dual track policies are doomed to a total failure.'

'A new chapter has to be opened in negotiations based upon mutual respect and equity in a bid to step up cooperation and mutual trust,' Soltanieh urged.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has made it clear that it will not engage in any discussions challenging its civilian nuclear program during talks with the P5+1.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Soltanieh questioned the credibility of the UN Security Council sanctions and the resolutions of the IAEA Board of Governors against the Islamic Republic and said 'such measures are devoid of any legal justification and therefore they could not possibly be enforced.'

He noted that Article XII.C of the IAEA Statute requires the director-general to transmit to the board all specific noncompliance reports made by the safeguards department, and the Board of Governors, which is a political body, should refer any reports of noncompliance to the members of the board, the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, respectively.

Soltanieh emphasized that IAEA inspectors have never found any noncompliance regarding Iran's nuclear activities; moreover, only some members of the board brought forth claims of non-compliance and unilaterally pressed for reporting Iran to the Security Council.

The US and its allies, which rhetorically but repeatedly allege that Iran may be pursuing a military diversion in its nuclear work, have used their influence in the UN Security Council to press for fresh sanctions against Tehran.

Tehran, which has spiritedly denied the accusations as baseless, argues that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and an IAEA member, it has every right to pursue and access peaceful nuclear technology.

Referring to demands for Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment work, Soltanieh also reiterated that suspension is outside the IAEA mandate.

The Iranian official also called on the IAEA to spare no efforts to protect any confidential intelligence it obtains from inspection reports out of Iran, insisting that the Agency is not an intelligence body and thus 'it has no right to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries.'

The IAEA Board of Governors has convened for its regular winter session, during which the Agency will discuss, among other issues, the latest report on Iran's nuclear program.

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