TEHRAN - The Iranian ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that two conditions should be met before an agreement can be reached between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog for further investigation into the country’s nuclear activities.
Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh made the remarks during an interview with the Persian service of IRNA in Vienna on Monday before a meeting of the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors, which opened later in the day and closes on Friday.
“The intended framework will not be agreed upon until the main considerations in regard to Iran’s national security, and also our principled request that the alleged documents be submitted (to Iran) by the IAEA, are included in the text (of the agreement),” Soltanieh stated.
The IAEA has called on Iran to sign and implement a structured approach document to resolve the outstanding issues and has stated that gaining access to the Parchin military site, which is located southeast of Tehran, is a priority for the UN nuclear watchdog.
The IAEA has claimed that Iran might have been trying to sanitize the Parchin site of any incriminating evidence of explosive tests that would indicate efforts to design nuclear weapons. However, Iran has dismissed the claim, calling it “baseless”.
Tehran rejected requests by IAEA delegations to inspect the Parchin site during their visits to Iran from January 29 to 31 and February 21 to 22 and has made it clear that access to the site would not be possible before an agreement is reached on the structured approach document.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Soltanieh commented on the claims made about the negotiations between Iran and the IAEA, saying, “As we have proved over the past years, we will continue to cooperate with the agency to prove that the allegations are unfounded, but a framework for activities must definitely be devised.”
There have been claims that Iran is not determined enough to engage in substantial talks with the UN nuclear watchdog.
The Iranian ambassador added, “It is obvious that there have been certain differences of opinion during the negotiations between Iran and the agency, some of which have been resolved.”
Asked if any decision has been made on the next round of talks between Iranian and IAEA officials, he said, “Consultations are underway in this regard. The venue and date (of talks) will be announced if an agreement is made.”
The latest round of talks between Iran and the IAEA was held in Vienna on August 24.
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