Iran hails nuclear watchdog's resolution
TEHRAN (AFP) Nov 26, 2003
Iran hailed Wednesday a resolution by the UN's nuclear watchdog condemning it for two decades of covert nuclear activities but deciding not to recommend that it go before the UN Security Council to face possible sanctions.

A statement sent to AFP from foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said the resolution was an achievement for the Islamic republic and the proof of its transparency.

The 35-nation board of directors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreed on the compromise resolution, after a tussle over the wording between the United States and European countries, in Vienna earlier Wednesday.

The text balances a US call to condemn Iran for 18 years of hidden nuclear activities that included making plutonium and Britain, France and Germany's demand that Iran be rewarded for cooperating since October with the IAEA.

In return Iran has pledged to sign an accord on wider, snap inspections of its nuclear sites by the IAEA.

"This resolution is an achievement for the Islamic republic of Iran and shows that Iran has carried out its civilian nuclear activities honestly and transparently, and despite the uproar of certain oppressive circles has not sought to manufacturer a nuclear weapon," Asefi said.

By "oppressive circles" the statement meant the United States and its ally Israel, which claims that Iran's nuclear programme is a threat to the Jewish state's existence.