Saturday, October 02, 2004

IAEO director to brief MPs on Iran’s nuclear plans, IAEA meeting

Description of Selected News: "IAEO director to brief MPs on Iran’s nuclear plans, IAEA meeting

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- Iran's top nuclear official is scheduled to discuss the country's nuclear program with members of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on Tuesday.

Gholamreza Aqazadeh, the director of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO), will be briefing members of the committee on the recent meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors in Vienna.

Iran's nuclear dossier as well as the country's plan for gaining access to civilian nuclear expertise will also be reviewed during the session.

The meeting was originally scheduled for last Sunday with representatives of the Supreme National Security Council, the IAEO, and the Foreign Ministry expected to participate, but it was scrapped after Aqazadeh did not attend.

The IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution last month demanding that Iran suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment.

Britain, France, and Germany drafted the resolution, which set a November 25 deadline for a full review of Iran's nuclear program and called on Tehran to immediately suspend all uranium enrichment activities.

Iran has dismissed the resolution, saying it does no accept any obligations in this regard.

Meanwhile, several Iranian MPs have begun calling for the country to withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to disregard other commitments.

As a gesture of goodwill, Tehran has voluntarily suspended uranium enrichment and the manufacture of centrifuge components.

The Islamic Republic has also signed the additional protocol to the NPT, which allows snap inspections of its nuclear facilities.

However, last month MPs announced that they would not ratify the additional protocol in response to the IAEA resolution.

"The continued violation of regulations by the IAEA Board of Governors leaves no room for us to ratify the additional protocol, and will lead us to question what is the point for the nation to leave its doors open for IAEA inspectors," a statement read out in parliament said.

MPs also called on the government to press on with nuclear fuel cycle work, which is permitted under the NPT, and to resume uranium enrichment.

However, the Foreign Ministry is staying the course for the time being.

Iran is still committed to its voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment and has not yet started injection of (hexafluoride) gas (into centrifuges), Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said last week.

Asefi also played down MPs' calls for withdrawing from the NPT, saying the issue is not “seriously on our agenda yet”."

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