Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh
Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh speaks to journalists at the UN agency's headquarters in Vienna 2009. Iran on Friday welcomed as a "step forward" a UN report on its nuclear activities, saying it highlighted positive steps taken by Tehran towards "cooperation and transparency." © Joe Klamar - AFP/File
Iranian Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh
AFP
Last updated: September 3, 2011

Iran welcomes IAEA report as step forward

Iran on Friday welcomed as a "step forward" a UN report on its nuclear activities, saying it highlighted positive steps taken by Tehran towards "cooperation and transparency."

The report "repeated the very important message that no diversion in the nuclear activities has been seen," Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told the official IRNA news agency.

"The report also contains new positive issues, including the steps that the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken towards cooperation and transparency," he said.

The UN atomic watchdog said in a confidential report, a copy of which was obtained by AFP on Friday, that it is "increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organisations."

These included "activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile", according to the report, which is due to be discussed by the IAEA's 35-member board of governors at a September 12-16 meeting.

But Soltanieh said the report was "evidence of Iran's transparent and peaceful nuclear activities," IRNA reported.

"The report explicitly mentions Iran's cooperation in providing information and (efforts) to remove ambiguities and answer some questions," he said, adding it was "a step forward."

The UN Security Council has slapped four rounds of sanctions on Iran to get it to suspend uranium enrichment, a process which can both produce the fuel for a nuclear reactor and the fissile material for an atomic warhead.

Iran says it uses the process to amass fuel material for future nuclear power plants and atomic research reactors it plans to build, rejecting fears in the West it is seeking to acquire a weapons capability.

Soltanieh also dismissed demands for uranium enrichment suspension, saying Iran "has repeatedly proved according to international documents that such demands have no technical or lawful basis."

blog comments powered by Disqus