Iran must prevent nuclear issue going to UN: FM
TEHRAN (AFP) Oct 01, 2003
Iran's foreign minister asserted Wednesday that the Islamic republic must prevent its nuclear dossier being transferred to the UN Security Council, without specifying if Iran would satisfy an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ultimatum.

"This question must not be sent to the Security Council. This must be prevented," Kamal Kharazi was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA on the eve of a crucial visit by IAEA inspectors.

While promising an "greater cooperation" with UN inspectors probing Iran's nuclear energy programme, Kharazi also remained circumspect on demands the country sign an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty allowing unlimited and surprise visits to suspect sites.

"The official position of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the additional protocol ... is for greater cooperation with the IAEA. We are determined to have an active and transparent cooperation with the agency," Kharazi said.

The IAEA has set October 31 as a deadline for Iran to prove that it is not secretly developing nuclear weapons. The agency has also urged Iran to sign the additional protocol and cease uranium enrichment.

In his comments, Kharazi did not refer to the demands set out in the IAEA's resolution that handed Iran the ultimatum.

A failure by Iran to satisfy the agency's demands could see the question forwarded to the UN Security Council.