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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Araqchi: IAEA inspectors' visit on Iran-agency agreement basis

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Dec 22, IRNA -- Deputy FM and top nuclear negotiator said a visit by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors of Iranian nuclear facilities during recent days was in framework of agreement signed between Iran and agency during IAEA chief Yokia Amano's visit of Tehran.

"The Geneva nuclear deal has not been implemented yet and the ongoing negotiations are aimed at devising the executive methods for implementing it," said Seyyed Abbas Araqchi Sunday night in a TV interview.

He said that there were issues between Iran and the agency whose evaluation is both beyond the agency's duties and outside Iran's commitments in accordance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but in order to eliminate them there was a need for a framework for cooperation between Iran and the agency.

The deputy foreign minister said that the agreement was signed following a few rounds of talks between Amano and the head of the Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi, which in turn has a number of phases, including the moves that need to be made in the first step.

He said that the agency's inspectors' visit and inspection of the Arak heavy water reactor was in that framework, which is a separate path from the Iran-Sextet talks.

Araqchi also expressed hope that the remaining issue between Iran and the agency, too, would be resolved in the course of this new move based on good will and the political interactions between Iran and the 5+1 Group, contributing to proper progress towards final resolving of the Iranian nuclear program.

That is while the Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said on Saturday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors have neither the right, nor any duty to inspect Iran's military and missile sites.

"The agency's inspectors have neither any right and nor any responsibility to do so. There is no authority in the world responsible for inspecting such facilities, and there is no treaty in that regard, either," said Salehi.

"The IAEA is not in a position to conduct such inspections," he underscored, dismissing certain media reports which quoted him as saying that the agency's inspectors will visit Iran's missile industries for more transparency.

In November, Iran and the IAEA agreed on a roadmap based on which Iran would, on a voluntary basis, allow IAEA inspectors to visit the Arak heavy water plant and the Gachin uranium mine in Bandar Abbas, in southern Iran, despite the fact that Tehran is under no such obligation to do so under the Safeguards Agreement.

The voluntary move is a goodwill gesture on the part of Iran to clear up ambiguities over the peaceful nature of its nuclear energy program.

Salehi further denied charges leveled by certain western countries suggesting a diversion, or any slowing down in Iran's civilian atomic work.

"Such accusations are unfounded given the IAEA's inspections and Iran's broad transparency moves and cooperation," the AEOI head said.

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Irans nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence showing that Irans civilian nuclear energy program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.

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