Iran threatens to end snap UN inspections unless IAEA decision is reversed
Iran announced on Tuesday that if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not rescind its decision to send it before the UN Security Council, it would cease all voluntary measures it currently practices, including allowing for unplanned UN inspections of its atomic facilities.
On Saturday, the IAEA passed a resolution requiring that Iran be reported to the Security Council for possible sanctions as it had failed to convince inspectors that its nuclear program was exclusively for civilian purposes, according to Reuters.
Unannounced inspections of nuclear facilities by UN weapons inspectors are permissible under the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of which Iran is a partner.
An Iranian spokesman implied to reporters that withdrawal from the NPT was possible depending "on the decisions and measures of the Europeans and the IAEA."
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi told reporters at a press conference that "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's proposal presented at the UN General Assembly was aimed at forging understanding."
The announcement also called on Europe to revise its stance on the IAEA decision. "If the agency and Europe adopt a tough attitude, they will prompt us to carry out harsher measures. They should be watchful that their misbehavior will not give rise to an atmosphere that they cannot tackle. We are giving the nuclear agency (IAEA) a serious warning in his respect."
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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