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. Iran says ready to satisfy international nuclear concerns
ISLAMABAD (AFP) Sep 07, 2005
Iran will continue with its atomic programme but is ready to satisfy any international concerns, its chief nuclear negotiator said Wednesday as he held talks with Pakistani leaders.

Ali Larijani's visit to Pakistan -- a fellow Islamic republic but also a key US ally -- is part of Tehran's search for regional support amid threats that the row over its nuclear plans could be referred to the UN Security Council.

"Having said this principle, that we are determined to have nuclear technology, at the same time we are fully prepared to have any negotiation or discussion to remove the international concern," Larijani told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

The top negotiator has already visited India and China in recent weeks to counter US accusations that Iran is secretly trying to build nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian energy programme.

His visit to Pakistan follows a recent tough report issued by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohammed ElBaradei, that showed Iran failing to meet demands for cessation of all nuclear fuel activities.

It said that despite two and a half years of IAEA investigations, Iran had failed to resolve critical questions about work with both uranium and plutonium -- the two raw materials for making atom bombs.

On Wednesday a spokesman for Iran's Supreme National Security Council said Tehran was to challenge the report as it contains errors and makes "unacceptable" demands.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan has figured in the UN nuclear watchdog's investigation of Iran's atomic fuel reactor program.

Pakistan in May sent parts from used nuclear centrifuges to the IAEA to allow the agency to compare microscopic traces of uranium on them with those found on devices in Iran.

Last month the IAEA confirmed the particles found at a key nuclear site in Iran were from Pakistani centrifuges, which were passed to Tehran by disgraced Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.

Pakistan's Aziz supported the peaceful resolution of the issue but was quoted by state media as saying that "every country has the right to peaceful use of nuclear energy" in accordance with IAEA rules.

Larijani said he appreciated Pakistan's stand on the dispute.

"Both countries have the same view that the regulation and obligation under the IAEA should be the basis for any activities and any judgement on work," he said.

"The implementation of regulations should be made without any threat or force," the Iranian added. "We do not consider useful any threat for this region."

Iran's new hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said late last month that Tehran was finalising "innovations" to resolve the dispute.

Larijani said these new moves would "facilitate work to assure the international community of the peaceful nature of our activities."

Larijani was quoted by the Associated Press of Pakistan as saying he had also discussed a proposed multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline linking Iran, Pakistan and India. Washington vehemently opposes the plan.

The negotiator also met President Pervez Musharraf and held talks with Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri.

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