Confident Iran seeks full closure of nuclear dossier at IAEA
TEHRAN (AFP) Mar 07, 2004
Iran's top national security official declared Sunday that the Islamic republic would seek to have the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) close its file and list of concerns on the country's nuclear programme.

"We must arrive at a stage where the (IAEA) board of governors totally close the file on Iran's peaceful nuclear activities and take this off the agenda," Hassan Rowhani, the head of the Supreme National Security Council, was quoted as saying by state media.

Rowhani, who has headed Iran's nuclear negotiations, was speaking on the eve of a meeting by the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog's board of governors that will include a progress report on Iran's cooperation with the body.

But he also asserted that "the international community has to accept Iran in the world nuclear club", adding that "the Islamic republic has the inalienable right to master its own enrichment cycle."

The IAEA said last month that Iran had failed to declare possibly weapons-related atomic activities despite promising full disclosure and warned Tehran to make sure this did not happen again.

Iran had not told the IAEA it had designs for sophisticated "P-2" centrifuges for enriching uranium nor that it had produced polonium-210, an element which could be used as a "neutron initiator (to start the chain reaction) in some designs of nuclear weapons," its report said.

It followed Iran's claim last October that it had given the IAEA a full picture of its nuclear program.

But despite ongoing concerns over the nature of Iran's atomic energy programme -- seen by the United States as a cover for weapons development -- Rowhani said there was just a "tiny risk" that Iran could be referred for possible sanctions from the UN Security Council.

"So far we have succeeded in foiling the US plot, and do not think the US is in a position to send our dossier to the Security Council," he said.

The official attributed Iran's ability to avoid serious sanction by signing up to tougher inspections to what he said had been a "national consensus". He said this had to continue if Iran was to see its file closed in Vienna.

However he acknowledged that the international community would have "difficulty accepting" Iran's eventual mastering of the entire nuclear fuel cycle.

Iran's confidence ahead of the meeting was echoed by another top security official.

"This session is not causing me any worries. This session will not endanger national security," said Seyed Hossein Mussavian, secretary of the foreign relations commission in the Supreme National Security Council.

Quoted by the conservative Qods newspaper, he predicted the IAEA's governors would simply call "for inspections to continue in Iran and remove ambiguities."

The United States has already signalled it will not seek to have Iran condemned in the Security Council.

Speaking in Lisbon Thursday, US Undersecretary of State John Bolton nevertheless said: "We are absolutely determined not to reduce the pressure on Iran."

For his part, Mussavian said Iran was ready to continue "cooperation until the ambiguities are gone."

He also asserted Iran's deal with the European Union's "Big Three" -- Britain, France and Germany -- to open up its nuclear facilities to tougher inspections had been "efficient" in foiling US efforts to haul Iran before the Security Council for possible sanctions.

Britain, France and Germany in October struck a deal with Iran to cooperate with the IAEA, and are still stressing the path of "constructive engagement"