Ahmadinejad urges IAEA not to be swayed by world powers


Tehran : Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on the United Nations nuclear watchdog to fulfil its responsibility and not be influenced by world powers in the nuclear dispute, IRNA news agency reported.

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“The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should not be influenced by pressures of world powers and fulfil its responsibilities fairly and based on legal criteria,” Ahmadinejad told visiting IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei in Tehran.

“We only acknowledge the IAEA as reference in the nuclear issue but this does not hinder negotiations with other countries,” he added.

While referring to the US, Ahmadinejad said: “some countries consider the IAEA as a venue to realize their policies”.

He termed nuclear energy as a “divine gift” whose necessity would increase in the next three decades and called on the IAEA to prepare legal grounds for world states to avail themselves of such a “clean energy source”.

“The standpoint by world powers that nuclear energy is equal to an atomic bomb should be eradicated,” he said.

Earlier Saturday Iran told ElBaradei that the country would remain committed to international regulations within the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but not stop its nuclear work.

State television network IRIB quoted Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili as saying that the authority of the IAEA should not be undermined by allowing the Iranian nuclear dossier to be politicised through baseless accusations.

Jalili’s remarks indicate that Tehran has once again rejected the main demand by world powers – and the United Nations Security Council – which is suspension of uranium enrichment.

ElBaradei has been in Tehran since Friday to push Iran to clarify all outstanding issues related to the country’s controversial nuclear programmes.

ElBaradei is also to meet later Saturday Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to exchange thoughts on what Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization head Gholam-Reza Aqazadeh termed “very important issues” which could settle the nuclear dispute.

Khamenei constitutionally has the final say on all political affairs, especially the nuclear issue.

Aqazadeh had termed his Friday talks with the IAEA head as positive and declared Iran’s readiness to fully cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.

ElBaradei termed the talks with Aqazadeh as friendly and frank but called on Iran to intensify and accelerate its cooperation with the IAEA before the agency’s board of governors meeting in March.

Observers in Tehran say that Iran might declare its readiness to resume implementation of the IAEA Additional Protocol – allowing IAEA snap inspections – if no third UN resolution was issued against the Islamic state and the dossier returned to the IAEA from the Security Council.