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. Iran says existing nuclear safeguards go far enough
TEHRAN (AFP) Mar 27, 2005
A senior Iranian official insisted Sunday that existing nuclear safeguards already agreed by the Islamic republic were enough to provide guarantees the country will not develop the bomb.

"The Islamic Republic believes the objective guarantees that our nuclear activities are peaceful are provided by the additional protocol" to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran's UN envoy Mohammad Javad Zarif told state television.

Britain, France and Germany are engaged in a diplomatic effort aimed at securing "objective guarantees" from Iran that it will not seek nuclear weapons, and in return are offering a package of incentives.

But the sticking point is the enrichment of uranium, a process that can make fuel for atomic energy reactors but also the core of a nuclear weapon.

The Europeans would prefer Iran to abandon its nuclear fuel cycle work altogether, going beyond the NPT and its additional protocol -- a text that boosts the inspection powers of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

But Iran is so far standing by what it says is a right to be able to fully exploit peaceful nuclear technology.

Zarif said Iran was also looking for "guarantees" from the European side.

"The Europeans should give firm guarantees that Iran will have access to nuclear technology as well as the political, security and economic cooperation," he said.

In separate comments, a spokesman for Iran's Supreme National Security Council said talks with the EU-3 would continue "despite a slow pace".

Ali Agha-Mohammadi reiterated that a complete halt to Iran's enrichment work was "unacceptable".

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