Iranian conservatives pledge continued cooperation with UN nuclear watchdog
TEHRAN (AFP) Feb 24, 2004
Iran's main conservative party set to dominate the new parliament vowed Tuesday to continue to show "goodwill" to the UN's nuclear watchdog and approve the Islamic republic's agreement to allow tougher international inspections.

"We will show proof of our goodwill in examining any proposal by the government on the signature of the additional protocol," said Ahmad Tavakoli, a leading figure in the Builders of an Islamic Iran party.

Iran last year signed the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which allows the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to carry out more stringent inspections of nuclear sites here.

The IAEA and international community had been urging Iran to sign, amid US allegations the country is using a bid to generate atomic energy as a cover for the secret development of nuclear weapons.

Iran insists its programme is purely civilian, but has been condemned by the IAEA for 18 years of covert nuclear activity.

The country came under fresh pressure Tuesday after the watchdog reported to diplomats that Iran had made "omissions" in its reporting and had acquired similar technology to Libya on a black market emanating from the same foreign sources.

But Tavakoli said Iran would not give up its nuclear ambitions.

"The young Iranian scientists have succeeded in mastering nuclear technology. It is the right of our people to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes," he said.