Iran conditions signature of deal on snap nuclear inspections
TEHERAN (AFP) Oct 03, 2003
Iran has imposed four conditions for signing on to snap UN inspections of its atomic energy program, among them the exclusion of non-nuclear military sites and places of worship, highly influential former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Friday.

"The conditions we would impose for signing the protocol are the same as those imposed by the United States," Rafsanani said, in reference to pressure for Iran to sign an additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which allows for tougher inspections.

This would signify "that our national security not be endangered, that our (Islamic) values and our sacred sites not be affected, that (military) secrets unconnected with the nuclear program not be revealed and that others fulfill their duty" to assist Iran with its civilian nuclear program.

Rafsanjani was speaking at weekly Friday prayers, the day after Iranian officials and inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agencybegan closed-door discussions ahead of a crucial series of probes into Tehran's suspect nuclear programme.

The visit, described by IAEA head Mohammad ElBaradei as "decisive", will be the last round of investigations ahead of an October 31 deadline given to Iran to come clean on its nuclear programme.

Tehran fiercely denies allegations that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons, and asserts it is merely exercising its right to develop nuclear power to meet future energy needs.

Officials here are keen to prevent the issue being forwarded to the UN Security Council, which in turn could sanction Iran for its non-compliance.

The Tehran talks cover the modalities for visits across Iran in the coming days and weeks aimed at determining whether Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons.