Iran, IAEA agree to clarify misunderstandings

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Tehran, Jul 13: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said that Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency have agreed to increase cooperation in regard to Iran's nuclear program in order to clear up misunderstandings.

Salehi made the remarks in an interview with reporters after a meeting with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna.

Salehi described his talks with Amano as "very positive," adding, "It was agreed that experts on both sides would sit down and work out a mechanism to increase cooperation in regard to Iran's nuclear issue in order to clear up existing misunderstandings in a proper way."

Asked if he renewed Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Director Fereydoun Abbasi Davani's invitation to Amano to visit Iran's nuclear facilities, Salehi said, "Mr. Abbasi had already invited him, but we did not discuss that issue at the meeting." Iran will not back down on nuclear rights Salehi also met with Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger yesterday and attended a joint press conference with him.

During the press conference, Salehi stated that Iran is committed to its obligations as stipulated in the IAEA Statute and the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) but insisted that Tehran will never relinquish its legitimate nuclear rights.

He went on to say that Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has issued a fatwa declaring that the production, stockpiling, and use of nuclear weapons are all haram (prohibited in Islam).

"We are a committed member of the NPT. And if we were seeking a nuclear weapon, we would be going beyond the law, but we believe in the NPT and regard the existence of nuclear weapons as harmful to the global community," Salehi added.

"There are ways through which we can pave the way for a continuation of negotiations and a resolution of the issue. The trip that we made to Vienna could provide a starting point for an acceptable change in our relations with the European Union," he stated.

Asked about his meeting with Amano, the Iranian foreign minister said, "In our view, the IAEA is the only authority which can make judgments about countries'' nuclear activities." He added, "About three years ago, an Action Plan was drawn up, according to which it was agreed that the agency would ask its questions about Iran's nuclear activities and Iran would answer those questions in a way that would gain the satisfaction of the agency. 

MNA

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