IAEA Chief in Tehran, Reports Iranian “Apprehensions” Over Nuclear Inspections

In Tehran for a one-day meeting, the top international nuclear inspector said today that Iran has raised “apprehensions” about signing the Additional Protocol to its nuclear safeguards agreement, which would allow for more intrusive monitoring of Iran’s nuclear activities (see GSN, Oct. 15).

After meeting with Iranian Supreme National Security Council leader Hassan Rohani, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said Iran is willing to allow extensive inspections but is hesitant about signing the protocol. Some conservative leaders in Tehran have said that signing the protocol would allow inspectors to spy on Iran.

“I made it very clear that all these apprehensions are unfounded. I mean the protocol is never meant in any way to compromise state sovereignty, security, dignity and technology development,” ElBaradei said.

The IAEA chief said Rohani assured him that “Iran will clarify all the outstanding issues” (Reuters/Financial Times, Oct. 16).

To demonstrate complete transparency, Iran would need to open military sites to IAEA inspectors, ElBaradei said.

“If it’s civilian or military sites doesn’t matter much,” he said. “We visit sites that are relevant to our work. If it’s important to us to visit a site, we will do so,” he added.

ElBaradei said that in recent weeks Iran had been very cooperative with inspectors, and allowed the IAEA to visit a military facility.

“We asked and we were allowed to go there,” he said (Brian Murphy, Associated Press/Yahoo!News, Oct. 16).

A U.N. diplomat said that IAEA inspectors had visited the Kolahdouz military facility near Tehran. Iranian dissidents earlier this year alleged that Tehran was enriching uranium at the site (see GSN, July 9).

Despite Iran’s cooperation, ElBaradei chided Iran yesterday for not having “100 percent transparency.”

He said Iranian authorities invited him to Tehran to discuss the scale of inspections the Additional Protocol would require Iran to accept.

“I am ready obviously to walk the extra mile if we can bring the issue to closure as soon as possible,” he said (Agence France-Presse/Yahoo!News, Oct. 16).

October 16, 2003
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In Tehran for a one-day meeting, the top international nuclear inspector said today that Iran has raised “apprehensions” about signing the Additional Protocol to its nuclear safeguards agreement, which would allow for more intrusive monitoring of Iran’s nuclear activities (see GSN, Oct. 15).

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