Iranian parliament moves to suspend UN checks

28th September 2005, Comments 0 comments

28 September 2005, TEHERAN - The Iranian parliament approved Wednesday a draft bill urging the government to suspend checks of its atomic facilities by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

28 September 2005

TEHERAN - The Iranian parliament approved Wednesday a draft bill urging the government to suspend checks of its atomic facilities by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

More than 70 per cent of MPs voted for the draft bill which has yet to be approved by the parliamentary energy, security and foreign policy commissions, and finally by the senate-like Guardian Council before becoming law.

According to the bill, the government has to suspend further IAEA inspections of nuclear sites until Iran's legitimate right to pursue nuclear technology is acknowledged by the U.N. watchdog.

The government has further been obliged by parliament to present a report on how the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is implemented with regards to Iran, indicating a possible revision of NPT membership as well.

The parliament also demanded a detailed report on trade and economic ties with those states which voted for last Saturday's anti- Iran resolution at the IAEA with the aim of reducing the level of ties with key trade partners such as Germany, France, Britain, Japan and India.

The draft bill is in reaction to a vote last week by IAEA governors in Vienna which sharply criticized Tehran for "non- compliance" with the nuclear NPT and threatened to bring the case before the U.N. Security Council where Iran could face sanctions.

The IAEA demands that Iran stop uranium conversion at its plant in Isfahan in central Iran. Tehran has not only rejected this demand but further wants to start the uranium enrichment process in the neighbouring Natanz plant.

Uranium enrichment at low grade can only be used, as claimed by Iran, for nuclear fuel but a higher enrichment grade could also be misused for making atomic bombs.

Parliamentary Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel clarified on Wednesday that approving the motion to suspend the IAEA additional protocol did not mean that Iran would be quitting the NPT.

Iran voluntarily suspended its nuclear activities in October 2003 to build international confidence, and signed an additional protocol in December of the same year permitting the IAEA to inspect its nuclear facilities.

Haddad-Adel said that as the IAEA additional protocol was acknowledged on a voluntary basis and not yet finalized by the parliament as law, Iran could disregard the protocol whenever it considered it necessary.

Meanwhile heavy clashes broke out Wednesday in front of the British embassy in Tehran between police and Islamist students trying to enter the embassy's compound.

Anti-riot units were aiding the police in forcefully preventing hundreds of violent students from entering the compound.

The students were at a state-organised gathering to protest against last Saturday's anti-Iran resolution approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which was proposed by the E.U. trio of Britain, Germany and France.

Police have in the meantime started to use tear gas to keep students from entering the compound where they wanted to bring down the British flag.

Several students and police officers were injured in the clashes. Several students were reportedly arrested.

© DPA with Expatica

Subject: German news

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