Fri, 27 Nov 2009 18:31:33 GMT | PressTV
The following is a rush transcript of Press TV's exclusive interview with Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh (Pic) on the UN nuclear Watchdog's Friday resolution, which calls on Tehran to immediately halt construction of the Fordo enrichment plant.
Press TV: Do you think that today's (Friday's) resolution was a politically-motivated one?
Soltaniyeh: First of all I have to say that one of the immediate consequences of the gesture and the resolution today was polarization of member states. We witnessed a division among the countries, [which voted today]. the Non-aligned Movement in fact, was against this gesture and in spite of all attempts that the countries proposing the resolution made and a lot of pressure on the capitals [of the countries that were present in the meeting], they were not able to have consensus and they failed.
That was a great failure for them not to have consensus on this resolution. Nine countries including three voting against — Cuba, Venezuela and Malaysia — and other countries didn't support [the resolution]. This was a very serious political message to them [the West] that they should not politicize the agency and those who explained about their votes clearly mentioned that they considered that this resolution would create a negative environment and would persuade confrontation rather than cooperation.
After the resolution at the [IAEA] Board of Governors, I delivered a very clear message: That they should have learned from the past, that none of the resolutions of the [IAEA] Board of Governors, [resolutions of] the United Nation Security Council (UNSC), sanctions and threats of a military attack, have been able to stop or even suspend [Iran's] enrichment activities.
Press TV: Now that this resolution has been passed, how will Iran respond to the resolution? You previously said that you would scale back your cooperation to just within the legal boundaries. is that what we are looking at now?
Soltaniyeh: Exactly, the second consequence will be that by this resolution they have discouraged Iran from taking voluntary steps that we have taken in many occasions in the past particularly the recent time. When [the IAEA] Director General [Mohamed ElBaradei] was in Iran in fact we took some voluntary steps, and informing them about this new site Fordo was among those voluntary steps. Because we should have not informed [the agency] at this juncture in fact, we have eighteen months ahead of what we are obliged to. Therefore, we will not be committed to any of this even if you wanted to voluntarily cooperate. We will try to confine our activities within the framework of [the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] NPT comprehensive safeguard. That's what we are going to do.
Regarding this Fordo resolution, the answer to this resolution is definitely 'no'. We are not going to suspend our enrichment activities, we are not going to suspend the completion of the Fordo nuclear enrichment activities, but at the same time as we put it we will continue cooperation with the agency and all these activities will be under IAEA safeguards, but only within the framework of comprehensive safeguard of NPT.
Press TV: Where exactly do we go from here? How do you see this issue resolved?
Soltaniyeh: Well, Let's hope that they will regret the mistake they made, and take steps to compensate and — as I called several times after the first round of negotiations in Vienna — supply fuel for the Tehran research reactor and come to the negotiating table. We are ready to talk with a positive approach and make sure that our legitimate technical and economic concerns are taken into consideration — particularly the issue of guarantee.
The past confidence deficit will be taken into consideration, but of course what they did today was very disappointing and, therefore, I want to say that they shouldn't play delay tactic. The time is essence and we need fuel for the Tehran research reactor. In fact, over 200 hospitals whose patients are struggling with cancer are in need of radioisotopes. If they continue not to cooperate and supply the fuel then the government has to look for other options.