Settling IAEA Questions Demands Mutual Resolve

Settling IAEA Questions Demands Mutual ResolveSettling IAEA Questions Demands Mutual Resolve

President Hassan Rouhani said a quick and full resolution of the lingering issues between Iran and the UN nuclear agency necessitates "resolve" on both sides.

"With both sides demonstrating the required resolve, issues pending between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency can be completely settled shortly," Rouhani was quoted by IRNA as saying in a meeting with visiting IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in Tehran on Thursday.

Highlighting the principal objectives of the UN nuclear agency, Rouhani said helping peaceful nuclear activities develop worldwide and preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons are the two main responsibilities which the agency should carry out while treating countries fairly and without discrimination.

The transparency Iran has shown in its cooperation with the IAEA so far has refuted "baseless" allegations that Tehran's nuclear program has had military purposes, he said.

"Iran, like other signatories to the safeguards agreement should enjoy its full rights without any discrimination," Rouhani said, expressing Tehran's readiness to help find a settlement to the pending issues within the framework of "the safeguards agreement and the existing rules."

Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, also known as E3+3) are negotiating with the aim of concluding a final deal on Tehran's nuclear program, under which Iran would be granted the lifting of international sanctions in exchange for accepting temporary restrictions on its nuclear work.

The western side to the negotiations insists the issues between the agency and Iran should be fully addressed as part of the prospective deal.

  No Incriminating Evidence

Amano acknowledged that the UN agency has not come across any evidence in its inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities indicating the country has been in pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.

"Based on our inspections, we have always announced that Iran's nuclear work has not had any deviation toward military objectives and it has always honored its commitments."

He said all the outstanding issues can be addressed by "mutual respect" and "close cooperation", voicing hope that the agency's next report on Iran would contribute to the success of negotiations.

Elsewhere, Ambassador to the IAEA Reza Najafi called Amano's visit "constructive and positive," saying, "The visit and talks were conducted in an interactive atmosphere, providing the proper conditions for the two sides to share views and address concerns."

Tehran and the agency reached a general understanding on a timeframe to continue their cooperation, he said on Thursday, adding, "Meetings will soon be held to coordinate the details and timing of the measures to be taken at the level of experts."

The secretary of the Supreme National Security Council also met the IAEA chief, saying Iran is ready for continued close cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog to help settle the outstanding issues. Tehran is open to any suggestion recognizing the continued development of its peaceful nuclear activities and unconditional lifting of sanctions, Ali Shamkhani said.

  Better Understanding  

Amano issued a statement on Friday about his visit to Iran.

"I travelled to Tehran on Thursday for meetings with President Hassan Rouhani and the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani. It follows meetings in Vienna with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Iranian officials," said the statement, which was posted on the IAEA's website.

"The purpose of the visit was to advance work towards the resolution of all outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear program, including clarification of possible military dimensions. I believe that both sides have a better understanding on some ways forward, though more work will be needed."

Iran denies its nuclear program may have any military objectives, saying the work is solely for peaceful purposes.

"We also touched on the ongoing negotiations between the E3+3 countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran towards a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the official name of the final accord), and the Agency's monitoring and verification of nuclear-related measures under such agreement," the statement added.