Iran hopes IAEA won't submit to West's pressure, bias
Story Code : 21311
Press TV has conducted an exclusive interview with Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh.
Following is the text of the interview:
PTV: Please tell us your thoughts and how things went on today in today's the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Board of Governors meeting.
S: well, this was a routine Board of Governors meeting. In fact, there are several items on agenda from application of nuclear energy, nuclear safety security and safeguards. Of course, one of the issues underneath of the title of the safeguard is Iran's implementation of the safeguards. Like former IAEA director general, Mr. Amano gave a beginning oral statement touching upon different issues and activities of the agency today and he touched upon the issue of Iran.
In his general statement, he highlighted the importance of nuclear energy application then he talked about necessary assurance of supply. It is important that he confirmed and confessed the lack of confidence in the assurance of supply because he said directly related to the future of the application of nuclear energy in all over the world.
He also confirmed the fact that this is not the only industrial countries but developing countries are also interested to embark on nuclear power and they have to be supported by the IAEA.
After talking about necessary guarantees and assurance on nuclear supply, he pointed to the agency's activities or measures taken in that direction. Then he raised the issue of Iran's request, my letter of June 2, 2009, to the former director general that we made a request for fuel for the Tehran research reactor which is producing radio isotopes for medical purposes.
He referred to the negotiations in October between Iran, Russia, US and France. He also mistakenly again said that there was a proposal by the IAEA. I have already in different occasions mentioned that the proposal was in fact by those countries suggesting that these materials to go from Iran for more enrichment in for example Russia and later on few fabrication to come back.
At the same time, I mentioned clearly in a previous interview and other occasions including the Board of Governors that during negotiations we had also offered a proposal which was very logical. Iran's request includes the elements of exchange. Therefore, our proposal was simultaneous exchange of nuclear material produced in Iran low-enriched uranium with the fuel being ready.
Amano referred to that proposal and referred to the last letter on 18th of February that I wrote to him on behalf of my government once again reminding the director general and the IAEA members that it is a statutory mandate of the agency to facilitate the fuel supply for this kind of activity in the Tehran research reactor and at the same time I mentioned that the agency has to take steps in that direction.
P: What does the cooperation refer to when Amano says that Iran has not given us the cooperation the IAEA needs?
S: In many occasions, we have announced that we had fully cooperated with the IAEA in the context of the comprehensive safeguard. Not only in his opening statement today, but also in a press conference Amano confirmed that there had been full cooperation and the agency will be able to continue its verification activities in Iran for the declared nuclear material.
We have said if they expect us to go beyond our legal obligation, including working on the alleged studies which is absolutely beyond the statute of the IAEA, and also the activities regarding questionable activities beyond the comprehensive safeguard, they should not expect us to do so because by referring to the Additional Protocol, which we are not implementing, or resolutions of the Security Council that we do not consider and we have proved that they have no legal basis; this is an expectation which could not be fulfilled.
P: Will you give us explanation about IAEA reasons that Iran's offer has not been taken into consideration?
S: Just before we decided to enrich uranium to a level of 20 percent for our own research reactor until the last moment, we were waiting whether they would be a positive response. We started enriching uranium since there was no response.
However, director general informed the Board of Governors that he has started acting upon our official request dated 18th of February reflecting some potential suppliers. This is the test of political goodwill of those potential suppliers to prove that they really are going to cooperate within the framework of the IAEA.
What has happened so far until now proves that Iran has the right to go for indigenous enrichment because for the last six years we have said the reasons we started to enrich uranium in Iran is because there was lack of assurance of supply and confidence deficit. I just want to inform you now that today I sent another letter to Amano listing factual information about the confidence deficit and assurance on nuclear supply.
P: How do you assess Amano's statement and his will to overcome the political pressure from the West?
This is an unfortunate reality that few Western countries including the United States have tried to influence the agency's internal affairs and impartial professional work of the secretariat. The US tried to change the IAEA to a UN watchdog which I was object because the IAEA is a technical independent organization.
During (Former IAEA chief Mohamed) ElBaradei's tenure, he was in many times under pressure. In the cases of Iraq and Iran, he was under tremendous pressure in order to not to reflect the factual situation.
I remind you that he harshly criticized the United States not permitting to deliver the documents on alleged studies in spite of the fact that the agency was obliged to give to Iran according to the work plan.
In one of his reports, he clearly mentioned that there is no assent to this material and in some other cases there have been issues that he reflected the fact that the agency was under pressure because other countries were not cooperating while there have been some allegations.
The pressure is also under the current IAEA director general but we hope he will try to resist the pressure and we hope that he will try to manage the agency in most professional manner.