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. Iran says ready for nuclear surveillance
TEHRAN (AFP) Sep 06, 2004
The spokesman for Iran's reformist cabinet said Monday the Islamic republic was willing to show greater transparency over its nuclear programme in order to ease suspicions of bomb-making.

"We are ready to accept all kinds of surveillance to remove the fears of the international community," said Abodollah Ramazanzadeh, asserting Iran's commitment to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its additional protocol.

Iran is a signatory to the NPT and in December 2003 signed the additional protocol, which allows tougher inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Iranian parliament, now controlled by conservatives, has yet to ratify that protocol.

Ramazanzadeh also reiterated Iran's refusal to abandon its work on the nuclear fuel cycle, which although permitted under the NPT is feared as providing Iran with a nuclear weapons option later on.

"We have accepted to voluntarily suspend uranium enrichment, but it is illogical to ask us to renounce enrichment," he said at his weekly press conference.

Officials have announced that Iran's top national security official was travelling to Europe Monday to forestall US efforts to haul the Islamic republic before the UN Security Council over its nuclear programme.

The foreign ministry said Hassan Rowhani would travel to the Netherlands -- current holder of the EU presidency -- for a series of high-level talks ahead of a fresh IAEA meeting on September 13.

Rowhani's mission will follow a weekend meeting in the Netherlands of European leaders, who appeared to be torn between pursuing efforts to engage Iran and calls for a harder line over Tehran's nuclear aims.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is merely aimed at generating atomic energy.

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