Iran says UN nuclear watchdog pressure "unacceptable"
TEHRAN (AFP) Jun 12, 2004
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi complained on Saturday that ongoing pressure from the UN nuclear watchdog was "unacceptable", and condemned a draft resolution critical of Iran drawn up by Britain, France and Germany.

"It is unacceptable that such minor questions are keeping the dossier of Iran open" at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Kharazi told a news conference.

The IAEA's board of governors is scheduled to again discuss Iran's suspect nuclear programme in Vienna on Monday.

It will also consider a draft resolution put forward by the three countries that is strongly critical of Iran's failure to reassure the body that it is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of an atomic energy programme.

Kharazi said the draft from the EU's "big three" was also unacceptable to Iran.

"We have protested against this draft resolution, which is unacceptable unless there are changes made so that it can be acceptable for all parties," the foreign minister said.

Kharazi stopped short of threatening an end to Iran's dealings with the IAEA and pulling out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but he did assert that Iran would make "no new commitments" to the agency.

He also said Iran would not stop work on a heavy water reactor in Arak in the center of the country or at a uranium conversion facility in Isfahan. Both are key elements of the nuclear fuel cycle, and Iran had previously pledged to stop uranium enrichment-related activities.

The draft presented by Britain, France and Germany stops short of provoking a showdown over Tehran's alleged secret weapons programme, but does sharply criticise Iran for failing to answer questions about alleged nuclear weapons activities.

It urges Tehran to clarify urgently the origin of contamination by highly enriched uranium. It also calls for full disclosure on a programme of centrifuges used to enrich uranium, and asks Iran to suspend immediately and fully all enrichment-related activities.

Britain, France and Germany last year brokered a deal with Iran for it to cooperate with the IAEA, but the sentiment among their diplomats appears to be that patience is wearing thin.

Tehran, meanwhile, is counting on the Europeans to block the US plan to send the case before the UN Security Council which would consider international sanctions.