Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Iran Ready To Approve Additional Protocol... In Case

Safa Haeri, Iran Press Service:
Sending the ball in the adverse court, Iran now says it would wait until the Europeans change their mind and come back to negotiation table, “knowing that Iran would never accept abilities for full nuclear cycle.

We don’t intend to produce all the nuclear fuel we need, but at the same time we shall not abandon the full nuclear cycle, something that is our natural and legal rights, meaning getting nuclear fuel from outside, with existing volatile international situation and changes that could take place in the (foreign) is just impossible”, Mr. Ali Aqamohammadi, spokesman for Iran's Supreme Council on National Security (SCNS) said.

He was the third high-ranking Iranian official to speak about Iranian stalemated nuclear problem in as many days; a situation that observers say is a demonstration of the “crucial crisis” the clerical leadership faces.

"Since we (Iran) are in the position of talking and the European side is in the position of not talking, we have to wait for them to change their position, referring to the decision of Britain, France and Germany to suspend their talks with the Iranians after Tehran resumed activities at the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) last August.The Paris Agreement (of November 2004) was breached by the Europeans who not only made us losing many opportunities, but also did not honoured their engagements”, he observed.

The EU3 called off the negotiations on the ground that by starting activities at the UCF, located near the central city of Esfahan, Iran has in fact breached engagements taken in Paris and before in Tehran to suspend all sensitive nuclear-related works and therefore there was no way to continue talking unless Tehran stops all nuclear activities, including at the UCF.

Speaking during an interview with the semi independent Iranian Students News Agency ISNA on Sunday 10 October 2005, Mr. Aqamohammadi said not only Iran continue its peaceful nuclear activities under “the full inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency” (IAEA) but also is “ready to accept the formula of foreign participation” and even give a “final approval” to the Additional Protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) “in case we get into an executory process” which he did not explained, but could mean that provided the two sides accept each other’s logics. READ MORE

He was referring to proposals made by several senior Iranian nuclear negotiations and also by the new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad “inviting” foreign governments and private firms to bid for the construction of nuclear-powered electricity plants in the one hand and the clause of he NPT that allows international nuclear inspectors to visit any atomic installations or project without restriction and at short notice.

Accepted on a voluntary basis almost two years ago, the government of former president Mohammad Khatami did not submit it for approval to the Majles which, at that time, was under the control of the reformists.

Meanwhile, the ruling conservatives won the last legislative elections in February this year and now the majority of lawmakers insists that in case the IAEA and the European negotiators, namely Britain, France and Germany do not accept Iran’s “legitimate and natural rights” for possessing full nuclear cycle, they would not approve the Additional Protocol and have urged the Government to stop implementing it.

In remarks that at times seemed contradictories to those made earlier by his boss Mr. Ali Larijani, signalling a policy of “bad cop, good cop, he at length unleashed against the so-called EU3, saying “with their incorrect attitude, the Europeans have aroused Iranian’s national sentiments that the negotiators are trying to control”, a reference to recent Government-organised protest demonstrations and meetings in front of the British and French embassies as well as marches and human chain around some atomic installations.

["Death to America, Death to Britain, Down with Israel", chanted the demonstrators, including women in black chadors marching in lines separated from men, holding banners that read, "We never fear the Security Council", "Death to France" and "the spy den must be shut down".

Hard line Tehran female lawmaker Nafiseh Fayazbakhsh, marching in front of the demonstrators, labelled Britain, France and Germany as "non-believers who find new faults everyday and attack like dogs".

A group of around 150 women joined by a hardline MP rallied outside the British embassy in Tehran on Monday in the latest protest over Western pressure on Iran's nuclear program.

In his interview with ISNA, Mr. Mohammadi accused Britain of having ”a hand” in the recent troubles in the oil-rich province of Khouzistan that borders with Iraq, saying: “This is one reason why people are demonstrating in front of the British embassy”.

The British knows that because of their past dark deeds and the treacheries during the nationalisation of oil industry that are still alive with the historical sentiments of the Iranians, they have a very bad name.]

A correct way for the European side to allow talks to continue in a logical and reasonable way is the respect of the principle of negotiations aimed at finding a solution to Iran’s nuclear problem in order to accept Iran’s rights and also finding ways and means to solve their concerns”, Mr. Aqamohammadi went on without indicating how Iran would respond to the international community’s fears about Iranian nuclear ambitions.

Negotiations are Iran's strategic choice in the nuclear issue, and we think that there is no other way forward except through talks“, he said, rejecting the last IAEA resolution as “unacceptable”.

"Iran wants its nuclear case to be transparent and other countries want to ease their concerns through negotiations, so therefore the only solution to reach these objectives is to talk, even if the Europeans do not accept unconditional talks, for there is no other solution to the question of Iranian atomic programs", he added.

In his view, world’s nations are “convinced” of the peaceful nature of Iranian nuclear programs, “except those that are determined to prevent Iran of nuclear technology” and named the West as example of those countries. “Our objective is to inform the international community about who is responsible that Iran’s nuclear case has become so complicated to the point to send it to the Security Council?”

He refused a straight forward comment about the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Mr. Mohammad ELbarade’i, the Egyptian general director of the Vienna-based IAEA and its possible repercussion on Iranian nuclear case.

I cannot judge now or say whether this award would improve peace or deteriorate further international relations, however, we shall wait and see if the IAEA would inspect the Zionist (Israel) regime and study the case at close range and also repair the mistake it committed with its last resolution (against Iran)?”

Israel, which is believed to have some 200 nuclear warheads, is not a signatory to the NPT.

Iranian media had bitter words on the Nobel Peace Committee, saying it awarded Mr. ElBarade’i “for the services he rendered the West against the Islamic Republic.