Posted Thursday, September 16, 2004
VIENNA, 16 Sept. (IPS) As the European Unions so-called Big 3 and the United States reached an agreement on a draft resolution concerning Irans controversial nuclear activities, the regimes former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani warned the Europeans that there are limits to Irans capacity for compromise.
The United States reached an agreement with France, Britain and Germany on a draft U.N. resolution on Iran that calls for an immediate halt to Tehran's uranium enrichment program, a diplomat said late on Thursday.
The draft dropped the trigger mechanism that existed in the proposal by the Americans, Australians and the Canadians urging the international nuclear watchdog to report automatically the case of Iran to the United Nations Security Council for adopting sanctions in case Tehran did not comply with the demands formulated by the Board of Directors.
A diplomat at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the key points of the resolution calls for the IAEA to make a decision in November "whether or not to take appropriate steps" regarding Iran's commitments under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), according to the British news agency Reuters.
The diplomat said that this meant that the board would decide whether to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council, which can impose economic sanctions, for violating the NPT by hiding its uranium enrichment program for nearly two decades.
"If they (EUs trio) behave like this, our capacity for compromise will naturally shrink and we will act more independently", Mr. Hashemi Rafsanjani said adding that Iran would never part from our compromise policy, but we will not go back on our course either
Iran would resist all international pressures, Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani assured.
The cleric, who, as the Chairman of the Expedience Council, is the regimes number two man after the leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenehi stressed that Iran is open to a deal with the Europeans as long as the countrys legitimate rights to peaceful nuclear technology is observed.
Iran would resist all international pressures, the cleric assured, as the disclosure by an American television that Iran has hide a complex for production of nuclear weapons triggered a new round of accusations and counter accusations between Tehran and Washington.
ABC News quoted on Wednesday US experts saying that the Parchin military complex might be involved in the research, testing, and possibly production of nuclear weapons.
The complex, located about 30 kilometers southeast of Tehran, is a huge site dedicated to the research, development, and production of ammunition, rockets, and high explosives, David Albright, a scientist, has told the network.
The site is owned by Iran's military industry and has hundreds of buildings and test sites. According to the French news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), the IAEA has known about this site for some time and it has independently assessed its potential for nuclear weapons work. As a result of its analysis, the IAEA recently asked Iran about visiting this location. But Iran has so far not agreed, added the AFP report.
ABC said Iran has refused IAEA nuclear experts to visit the site.
But Mr, Hoseyn Mousavian, the spokesman for the Iranian delegation at the ongoing talks in Vienna dismissed the allegations as "a lie" and said that the agency had not asked to visit the site.
the key points of the resolution calls for the IAEA to make a decision in November
"This is a new lie, like the last 13 lies based on news reports that have been proved to be lies", Mr Mousavian told Iran Press Service, adding that the whole bunch of lies are aimed at influencing the Agencys Board decision on iran, expected for Friday or Saturday.
A U.S. official expressed alarm Thursday about a possible nuclear-weapons-related test site in Iran and accused the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency of keeping silent on its own concerns about the issue.
"This is a serious omission", on the part of IAEA director general Mohammad ElBaradei, said the official, alluding to the lack of specific mention on Parchin in a report written for the board by ElBaradei on the status of a probe into Iran's nuclear activities.
The official said the United States would "go to the other board members" and make sure the suspicious site is considered in any Iran resolution submitted to the board meeting.
Mousavian said the allegation was timed to influence talks on a draft resolution on Iran's nuclear program.
Iran Foreign Affairs Ministrys spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said on Thursday that experience has shown that Americans use pressure and resort to hue and cry whenever they run out of any justification and logic to convince others.
Prior to the former session of the IAEA Board of Governors; the US had mentioned to the name of Lavizan, an area in northern Tehran with hue and cry hen it was proved a lie. This time, and as they are not sure to push with their resolution, they got Parchin out of their sleeves, the spokesman observed.
Iran is not prohibited from enrichment under its obligations to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. But it has faced mounting international pressure to suspend such activities, which can produce uranium for generating power or making nuclear weapons, as a good-faith gesture to prove it is not seeking to make atomic weapons.
The IAEA meeting adjourned Wednesday to allow for back-room negotiations and consultations with capitals. Plans were to reconvene Friday for a vote on a final version of the Iran resolution.
"We have done everything to build confidence, but if the Europeans want us to do something else we can discuss it", Mr. Mousavian said, warning that Irans patience has limits.
Although the IAEA has uncovered undeclared nuclear activities in Iran, it has found nothing to prove the U.S. allegations.
European diplomats believe the demand to report Iran to the Security Council immediately would be counterproductive.
There are five members at the Security Council with veto right. If we decide on strong measures against the Islamic Republic, not only it will face veto by Russia or China, the measure would also help Irans hard line rulers to get out of the NPT and follow the path of North Korea, one diplomat explained, speaking with IPS
But if Tehran goes ahead with its plans to enrich uranium, the EU trio would accept the idea of reporting Iran when the IAEA meets in November, diplomats say.
However, Mr Mousavian, who is also the Secretary of Irans Supreme Council on National Securitys Foreign Policy Committee, said Iran was not afraid of being reported.
"We are not really afraid of the Security Council, but it would be a setback in our cooperation (with the IAEA)", he said. ENDS IRAN NUCLEAR 16904
Photos of Iranian N-site released
VIENNA: The Institute for Science and International Security think tank on Wednesday released seven satellite photographs of an Iranian military complex suspected of doing illicit nuclear weapons work.
The satellite images showed the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran may be a site for research, testing and production of nuclear weapons. The pictures show a large industrial complex hidden in a warren of valleys and crevices created by a mountainous plateau in northern Iran. A paved road snaking in between barren hills connects warehouse-like buildings and smaller installations.
But expert commentary accompanying the material suggests that the Parchin conventional weapons complex, located about 30 kilometres southeast of Tehran, could also be used for nuclear work. This site is a logical candidate for a nuclear weapons-related site, particularly one involved in researching and developing high explosive components for an implosion-type nuclear weapon, weapons experts David Albright and Corey Hinderstein commented on the images.
Their suspicion is directed toward what they see as a high explosive testing bunker set in a rocky hollow. The concern is that this bunker could be where Iran would test a full-scale mock-up of a nuclear explosive using natural or depleted uranium as a surrogate of a highly enriched uranium core, Albright and Hinderstein pointed out. US officials insist the work at the military complex was used by Tehran as cover for a clandestine nuclear weapons programme.
A senior Iranian official said on Thursday that a nuclear experts allegation that Tehran was hiding an atomic site from UN inspectors was a carefully timed lie intended to influence a resolution on its nuclear programme. This is a new lie, like the last 13 lies based on news reports that have been proved to be lies, Hossein Mousavian, Irans chief delegate to this weeks meeting in Vienna of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said.
Albright said the UNs nuclear watchdog had asked to inspect the site but its request had been ignored. But Mousavian said: They have not asked to see the site. The IAEA declined to comment, but Western diplomats familiar with the matter said Parchin was not a new site for IAEA inspectors.
Mousavian said the allegation was timed to influence talks on a draft resolution on Irans nuclear programme that could set the stage for November showdown at the IAEA. That could result in the case being referred to the UN Security Council, something Washington has demanded for more than a year. agencies