Salehi: Iran Ready to Cooperate with IAEA on Outstanding Issues
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Tehran is prepared to voluntarily cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the issue of a possible military dimension to its peaceful nuclear program, although the matter is outside the purview of the UN agency, Iran’s nuclear chief explained.
Speaking on the sidelines of a weekly session of the cabinet on Wednesday, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi said the only unresolved dispute between Iran and the IAEA is the discussion of a possible military dimension (previously referred to as Alleged Studies) to the country's peaceful nuclear program.
Referring to the record of close cooperation between the IAEA and Iran, a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), Salehi mentioned that Tehran has expressed preparedness to cooperate with the IAEA, since the Islamic Republic firmly believes that its nuclear activities are peaceful and pursues a transparent approach.
He, however, made it clear that the IAEA is not authorized to deal with the issue concerning PMD studies.
The IAEA regularly inspects Iran's nuclear facilities, but it also wants Tehran to address what it suspects are indications that the program may also have possible military dimensions aimed at developing a nuclear weapons capacity.
Meanwhile, the United States, Israel and some of their allies repeatedly accuse Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program, with the US and the European Union having used the unsubstantiated claim as an excuse to impose illegal sanctions against Tehran.
Iran has categorically rejected the allegation, stressing that as a committed member of the IAEA and a signatory to the NPT, it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to non-civilian purposes.
This comes as negotiators from Iran and the six world powers, the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, are going to hold another round of talks on Iran's nuclear energy program on November 7-8 in Geneva, three weeks after their two-day ''constructive" negotiations in the same city.
Like other countries, Iran is entitled under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and that right has long been understood to encompass enrichment under safeguards.
Iran, one of the original states to sign the Nonproliferation Treaty, completed its Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA in 1974.