Iran labels G8 criticism of nuclear program "irrational, unreasonable"
TEHRAN (AFP) Jun 10, 2004
Iran labeled as irrational and unreasonable Thursday claims by leaders at the Group of Eight summit that Tehran is failing to fully disclose its nuclear program.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said: "So far, no deviation has been observed in Iran's peaceful nuclear activities, and what is being raised these days about Iran's activities (is aimed) at creating pressures and a climate for propaganda.

"Iran has practically demonstrated its full commitment to the (nuclear) Non-Proliferation Treaty and its safeguard clauses. Iran's broad and transparent cooperation with the (International Atomic Energy Agency) confirms this."

He reiterated Tehran's insistence that "the peaceful use of nuclear energy is a legitimate right of Iran. The Group of Eight nations must not expect Iran to give up this right; rather they should provide Iran with the necessary means to make use of this technology.

"These stances are irrational and contradict the realities."

At their meeting in Sea Island, Georgia on Wednesday, G8 leaders cited "serious concerns" about North Korea and chastised Iran as they unveiled measures meant to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

The measures aim to curb transfers of nuclear technology; enhance the powers of the IAEA and step up abilities to prevent and respond to biological weapons attacks.

The leaders said they were "deeply concerned" about Iran's compliance with IAEA requirements and stressed: "We deplore Iran's delays, deficiencies in cooperation, and inadequate disclosures."

The IAEA board of governors is expected to rap Iran for hiding sensitive atomic activities when it meets in Vienna next week, but not provoke a showdown over Tehran's alleged secret weapons program, diplomats said.

The United States looks ready to sign on this time to a British-French-German draft resolution that sharply criticizes Iran for failing to answer questions about alleged nuclear weapons activities but presses for continued cooperation with Tehran, diplomats said.

The resolution "deplores" the fact that Iran's "cooperation has not been complete, timely and proactive," according to extracts read to AFP by diplomats.

But it "acknowledges Iranian cooperation in responding to agency requests for access to locations including workshops" on military sites.