The following is Press TV’s exclusive interview with Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali-Asghar Soltaniyeh.
Mr. Soltaniyeh believes Western media mislead the international community over the issues surrounding Iran’s nuclear activities.
Press TV: Following a meeting on Thursday between the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization and the IAEA chief, some news outlets are saying that Tehran will reduce its cooperation with the IAEA, can you expand on that?
Soltaniyeh: I categorically reject this kind of misleading information by Western media. I reject that of course. We are not reducing our cooperation with the IAEA. In fact, this meeting between (the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Gholam-Reza) Aghazadeh and the IAEA Director General (Mohamed ElBaradei) was very constructive and useful. While reviewing the past activities we were looking forward to further cooperation with the IAEA within our legal obligation under the statute of the IAEA and (the Non-Proliferation Treaty) NPT.
Press TV:Was the issue of alleged studies raised during the IAEA-Iran talks on Thursday?
Soltaniyeh: Well, of course, discussing all the issues we reiterated our previous position that I have also echoed in the board of governors that after all one has to clearly understand that the issues raised in the alleged studies, the allegations by the Americans, the guardian, the missiles or the explosive are outside the IAEA’s domain and this was what exactly Mr. Aghazadeh said to the media and apart from that, it is one simple statement I can say that we have, in fact, answered any questions by the IAEA and removed all the ambiguities that they have had.
For this principle, namely cooperation with the IAEA, to make sure that all the activities that we have are peaceful and if there are any other questions we would do the same and we have done so.
In a technical environment we have answered all the questions. Therefore, there are no questions left and therefore the interaction in the safeguards with the IAEA is in a routine manner and it should do and that is what the message was exactly.
Press TV: What is the exact status of Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA? And what kind of events would negatively affect that? Ultimately, will there be expanded bilateral cooperation between Iran and the agency?
Soltaniyeh: Well, as I said we have always insisted that we are committed to our obligations under the statute and the NPT comprehensive safeguards and will continue to do so.
During the last five years, you have noticed that there have been no interruptions in IAEA inspections and our cooperation has been continued.
We will continue our cooperation of course and we will not bow to any political pressure from the outside, the agency has to continue its professional impartial activities and that is why we are continuing in this way and with this understanding and therefore, this was exactly what was discussed.
We are continuing the same trend with the IAEA and I want to say that now that the issues of Iran after years have all been resolved and settled, if there are any questions raised in the future, like any member state, we would cooperate to remove the ambiguities but at the same time, as an active strong member of the IAEA we are now involved in matters such as the outlook of the agency’s programs and budget for 2020 and therefore we are looking forward to the future of the IAEA, not any more to the specific issue of Iran, but how the IAEA would deal with the promotional peaceful use of nuclear energy and cooperation in the whole world. That is the role we are playing from now on as a very strong, very active and effective member of the IAEA.
Irancove @ July 31, 2008