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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Sanctions cannot stop Iran nuclear program, Najafi

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, May 14, IRNA -- Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has stressed that sanctions cannot make a halt to the country's peaceful nuclear program.

Speaking in a televised program here Wednesday evening, Ali-Asghar Najafi said the issue of Iran has to be discussed at the IAEA as a normal issue, otherwise there would be no possibility for reaching or implementing an agreement.

Commenting on the latest remarks made by the IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano about inspecting Iran's military sites, Najafi said that has not been included in the Swiss Statement.

'It was not mentioned in the Swiss Statement that the sanctions would be removed only when the IAEA announced there is no undeclared nuclear activities in Iran,' Najafi stressed noting that the UN nuclear wachdog 'is only responsible for technical issues.'

According to the Swiss Statement, he said, the IAEA is 'only responsible for confirming that the measures set at the final agreement were implemented properly- for instance: it has to confirm that the number of the active centrifuges in Natanz is not more than what has been agreed on the final agreement.'

Rejecting Amano's remarks that Iran should continue its policy of transparency in order to make it possible for the IAEA to provide its report to the UN Security Council, Najafi noted, 'According to the Swiss Statement the IAEA is only responsible for providing verification.'

Verification, he added, means that the agency should confirm Iran's enrichment activities are not higher than five percent and then the sanctions have to be lifted coincidently.

Elaborating on sanctions, he said all sanctions imposed by the European Union as well as unilateral sanctions exerted by the US on Iran's economic and banking systems have to be lifted.

Najafi added the only sanctions to be remained are the approvals made by the US Congress against Iran. He stressed that lifting those approvals requires more time.

However, stressed the Iranian official, 'the US government is obliged to respect its commitments and remove the Congress approvals as well.'

'Iran would by no means accept that the US government delegate removal of those approvals to the Congress decisions,' Najafi stressed.

Asked if Iran could trust the IAEA, he said making a propaganda fuss before beginning of each round of the nuclear talks has become a routine which takes place in order to put psychological pressure on the process of the negotiations.

The negotiators, he added, are talking about the text of the final comprehensive agreement without considering those pressures.


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