From: Reuters
Published May 28, 2008 10:31 PM

Iran says its atomic work not a U.N. council issue

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A report from the U.N. nuclear watchdog shows the Security Council has no business bothering with Iran's atomic program since all open questions about it have now been resolved, Iran said on Wednesday.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday that Iran had resolved most issues about its past nuclear activities, but not its alleged research into nuclear warheads which remains a matter of serious concern.

The report also confirmed that Iran has pressed ahead with uranium enrichment work, accelerating the program in defiance of four U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding that it suspend all activities linked to producing nuclear fuel.

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"The full implementation of the Work Plan and thus resolution and closure of all the six outstanding issues have undoubtedly eliminated the most basic pretexts and allegations on the basis of which Iran's peaceful nuclear program was conveyed to the Security Council," Iran's mission to the United Nations said in a statement.

Under the so-called work plan agreed between the IAEA and Iran, Tehran agreed to resolve all outstanding questions about its nuclear activities. The new IAEA report said Iran should provide more information on its missile work.

Iran said that this issue was never part of the work plan and did not have to be resolved. However, the statement said Iran made sincere efforts to resolve the issue.

"Despite the fact that this has not been an outstanding issue between Iran and the IAEA and is a baseless allegation made by certain circles to undermine the positive momentum created in Iran's cooperation with the IAEA, Iran ... has cooperated seriously with the Agency" on this issue, it said.

NOT SHOWN DOCUMENTS

In the statement, Tehran also reiterated its previous complaints that it has not been allowed to receive copies of the documents behind the allegations that Iran had been researching nuclear warheads.

The IAEA said in April Iran had agreed on steps to clarify by the end of this month the nuclear research allegations.

The accusations were based on intelligence which came from a laptop computer spirited out of Iran by a defector in 2004 and passed on to Washington, from some other Western countries and from the IAEA's own inquiries.

Iran's only mention of uranium enrichment in the statement was that its nuclear fuel work has been conducted "under Agency containment and surveillance."

Western diplomats at the United Nations expect the Security Council will likely wait before considering further sanctions against Tehran until it has had a chance to respond to a package of incentives the European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, hopes to bring to Iran soon.

The council has imposed three rounds of sanctions on Iran.

The incentives, which diplomats say are essentially the same as those offered to Iran two years ago, are being offered by the five permanent Security Council members and Germany in exchange for a full suspension of uranium enrichment.

But the Islamic republic refuses to halt enrichment, saying its nuclear program is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity so that it can export more of its oil and gas. Iran is the world's No. 4 oil producer.

(Editing by Anthony Boadle)

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