TODAY.AZ / Politics

Threat of attack on Iran's nuclear facilities must be put an end: Official to IAEA

28 August 2009 [10:22] - TODAY.AZ
Iranian Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltanieh spoke with Trend News Persian Desk in an exclusive interview.
Trend News: Recently, Iran has been holding discussions with other member countries of the IAEA about the need to adopt a resolution banning attacks on nuclear facilities. Could you reveal the essence of this issue?

Ali Asghar Soltanieh: The Islamic Republic of Iran initiated to discuss resolutions prohibiting attack or threatens of attack on nuclear facilities which are under construction or the advanced ones. Last Friday, 100 member countries of the organization, including Azerbaijan supported this initiative at the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

The Egyptian Ambassador has sent a letter to the IAEA Secretary General, ElBaradei on behalf of the NAM member countries. The letter contains a demandto include this issue in the agenda of the IAEA's annual conference.

Q: Has Iran Iran made this proposal because of concerns about the Israeli officials' statements on the attack on nuclear facilities of this country or are there other reasons?

A: The history of Chernobyl showed that radioactive substances have no limits. If we consider that an attack on a nuclear facility would entail the spread of those substances throughout, from this point of view, this problem affects all countries, both with nuclear facilities, and those that do not possess such facilities.

Therefore, it is necessary to take real steps to adopt a resolution prohibiting any attack on nuclear facilities, rather than just to talk. Further, this resolution will prohibit the threat of attack. I hope that with the support of other countries, this resolution will be adopted and we can solve two problems with its help. First, if a country is attacked, this country and other countries which will undergo radioactive contamination should be assisted. Mechanism of the law should be regulated with these purposes.

This means that in such cases, the IAEA should assume the obligation on the assistance and other countries should also immediately help. Secondly, it is necessary to devise and adopt a paper which will ban the attack on nuclear facilities of any country. Moreover, an attacking side should be punished by international agencies. In the 1980s, the Israeli attacks on nuclear facilities of Iraq, as well as attacks by Iraq on Iran's nuclear plant at Bushehr violated a law prohibiting an attack on nuclear facilities and stations.

Recently, Israel has again attacked the nuclear facilities in Syria. The international community must once and for all put an end to this danger

Q: International agencies have repeatedly disseminated information about the safety of Iranian nuclear facilities. How do you assess the safety of the Iranian nuclear facilities and what concerns does the field have?

A: As the PhD in the nuclear research, I can say with confidence that the safety of Iranian nuclear facilities correspond to international standards. In Tehran, there is one reactor at the nuclear research and studies (TTR).

This reactor has operated for 40 years. This reactor is fully consistent with the standards, and its analogs are also available in other countries. It was built by specialists from the United States. Of course, the United States did not provide this reactor with fuel. After the agreement with the IAEA, we have provided the reactor with fuel from Argentina. Everybody knows that this type of reactors are safe themselves.

It produces isotopes for more than 200 hospitals. The second reactor is a nuclear plant in Bushehr. Besides Russian, we cooperated with the IAEA to ensure security of this station. Over 100 experts of the IAEA have cooperated with us to ensure the security of the station. Last week, the Bushehr station was inspected by the chairman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi.

Answering a question about the date of opening the Bushehr plant, he said that "opening after fully providing the security of the station is much more important issue rather than opening the station. The Bushehr nuclear station has been improved under the constant supervision of the IAEA safety department

Q: Recently, Iran has allowed the IAEA inspectors to examine a water reactor in Arak. On the other hand, next week the five permanent members of UN Security Council and Germany (5 +1 countries) will hold meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue. How do you assess the new IAEA report on Iran's nuclear program and the position of Western countries on this?

A: I want to bring to your attention that the Iranian nuclear program has been submitted to the UN Security Council for discussions without any legal justification and contrary to international norms.

Despite this, Iran has demonstrated patience and firmness. Despite attempts by the U.S. and some Western countries to force Iran to go beyond the NPT treaty and breaking ties with the IAEA, Iran is cooperating and will cooperate with the IAEA. I want to assure you that Iran will not abandon its nuclear program and does not impose a limit on its relationship with the IAEA.

Official Tehran's permission to the IAEA to control the nuclear facilities demonstrates the good intentions of Iran. The Iranian lawyers and experts in technology study each request of the IAEA. If the IAEA request does not contradict international obligations and does not threaten the national security, this desire is satisfied. At the end of this week or next week, the IAEA will publish its new report, linked to Iran's nuclear program. I believe that the new report will reflect Iran's positive activity.

Q: The IAEA inspectors say that since the end of May, Iran has not increased the number of centrifuges to enrich uranium for nuclear test site in Natanz. How do you evaluate this problem?

A: I must inform you that at all annual meetings of the IAEA, the NAM countries, particularly Iran and Azerbaijan, express their concern over a secret report spread in the media by the IAEA inspectors. The IAEA must maintain the confidentiality of data obtained as a result of secret research.

The IAEA Secretary-General was sent the letter with the request that the secretariat and other structures will take measures to preserve the confidentiality of secret information. Any country cooperates with the IAEA inspectors and provides them with all the information that appears in the press even before it is announced in the report of the Director of the organization. The emergence of confidential report in the media is one of disturbing problems we face. For example, some countries intend to use the data for political purposes.

/Trend News/

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