Iran pledges to cooperate with IAEA, sign nuclear protocol soon: official
TEHRAN (AFP) Nov 29, 2003
Iran will provide the UN's atomic watchdog with all the required information by February and soon sign an additional protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the country's top nuclear official said Saturday.

However, the Islamic republic still refuses to indefinitely suspend its uranium enrichment activities, said Hassan Rowhani, who as secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council handles the country's nuclear affairs.

"The government must give its authorization to its representative (to the to sign (the protocol). It won't be very long," Rowhani told a press conference.

"The director general (of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei) must present his new report in February ... we will put every means at the agency's disposal so it can verify the information which we have provided," he said.

The IAEA Wednesday condemned Iran for 18 years of covert nuclear activities but stopped short of taking Tehran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions, as Washington had previously hoped.

The resolution was a compromise between the US call to censure Iran and demands from Britain, France and Germany that Iran be rewarded for cooperating since October with the IAEA.

But the text of the resolution also contained harsh words for Iran, in particular a passage warning that any further Iranian breaches of non-proliferation would be met by stern action from the IAEA's board of governors.

Tehran insists on the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities and Rowhani refused to rule out future uranium enrichment.

"The suspension of enrichment is provisional and voluntary, to build confidence. There is no question of halting our enrichment activities," he said.