Dr. Kharrazi: Lifting Sanctions A Pre-Requisite for Signing IAEA Additional Protocol

May 30, 2003

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Iranian foreign minister Dr Kamal Kharrazi said on Friday that Tehran will sign the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s additional protocol if sanctions against it are lifted.

Dr Kharrazi told reporters on the sidelines of the 30th session of the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Conference in Tehran on Friday that if all sanctions, pressures and restrictions against Iran are lifted and nuclear technology for peaceful purposes is put at its disposal Iran will sign the protocol.

Dr Kharrazi said that Iran has always been acting transparently in the case of nuclear energy.

Meanwhile, he said Tehran should be accountable to public opinion for signing the protocol.

Despite signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),Tehran is still deprived of many of its rights and there are a lot of sanctions and pressures currently in effect,he added.

Dr Kharrazi said that if Iran gets to sign the IAEA`s additional protocol too, public opinion in Iran would have the right to question the measure taken by Iranian authorities.

He said transparency in international relations should be reciprocal and it should not be in a way for a party to act transparently and the other part vice-versa.

Dr Kharrazi also said that Iran would not oppose involvement of other western states` contribution to construction of any power plant in its territory.

The minister said Iran should generate 6,000 megawatts of power in the next 20 years and regretted that only a limited number of countries are in possession of nuclear technology. He stressed that any country can take turn in tenders for construction of power plants in Iran.

Talking to reporters Dr Kharrazi commented on the arrest of al-Qaeda members in Iran and said,`Arresting al-Qaeda members in Iran is not a new trend in Iran`, adding, `since the wartime in Afghanistan and following the September 11th terrorist incident Iran has arrested a number of al-Qaeda members.

He reiterated that those arrested recently are being interrogated by Iran`s security organizations and so far we do not know who are among them.

Dr Kharrazi said, `If we are provided with information that al-Qaeda members are somewhere inside Iran we arrest them at once.

We regard it as our duty to do so and we expect others to honor their duties and responsibilities in this regard.

It is only natural that cooperation between countries should be mutual.

In reply to a question on the date of arresting al-Qaeda members, Dr Kharrazi said, `They have been arrested prior to explosions in Riyadh.

As such the US accusations that Iran was behind the explosions is baseless.

He added, 'If an individual is arrested there is no possibility that he can carry out or direct military operations because those arrested would have no link with peolpe outside the prison.

Asked to comment whether Tehran-London ties are affected by British prime minister`s remarks the day before in Basra on the Iranian and Syrian intervention in Iraq, Dr Kharrazi said, 'It is up to the Britains to expand their ties with Iran', adding, 'The UK is well aware of the importance of Iran`s role in the region and naturally it has tried to promote its relations with Iran.

He said, 'If the UK is for expansion of relations with Iran it should avoid adopting positions which contradict the reality and Iran`s interests.

In reply to a question on the recent US allegations against Iran, Dr Kharrazi said, `To overshadow the OIC foreign ministers meetinmg in Tehran the US levels numerous allegations against Iran.

He said, `And now they are accusing Iran of interfering in Iraq`s internal affairs, adding, `It is ridiculous that they themselves have occupied Iraq and at the same time accuse Iran.

Referring to the return of Iraqi people to their homeland Dr Kharrazi said the US is using it as a pretext against Iran, adding it is natural that some Iraqi people could not live in Iraq under Saddam.

Dr Kharrazi said, `These people were our guest and now after the collapse of Saddam regime they have retuned to their country and as such the US pretext is not acceptable.

Poiting to the various spontanious activities of Iraqi people inside the country Dr Kharrazi rejected the the US claim that they are under Iran`s influence, saying their activities have nothing to do with Iran.

Iranian foreign minister said, `It seems that the US has a long-term plan for Iraq and it intends to deprive Iraqi people of their basic rights of deciding their own fate.

Dr Kharrazi reiterated, `The US does not want the Iraqi people to decide about their government rather it wants to impose an American style government on Iraqi people.

He said, `By accusing Iran of interfering in Iraq`s internal affairs, in fact, the US wants to pave the way for inposing its desired government on Iraqi people.

Dr Kharrazi proposed a referendum to be held in Iraq so that the Iraqi people can elect any kind of government they accept .

Dr Kharrazi said` `We accept what the Iraqi people elect and the US should also accept this free election.

` Reacting to the recent US allegations that al-Qaeda members are in Iran Dr Kharrazi said, `Iran was involved in the issue before the US involvement.

Taliban and al-Qaeda always made troubls for Iran and committed organized crimes across our borders, took our fellow countrymen hostage and played a role in drug trafficking.

Therefore, in practice we were at war with them.

Recalling that the Americans themselves created al-Qaeda and Taliban, Dr Kharrazi said, `By such approaches the Americans can not compensate for their moral responsibility.

They are responsible for creating al-Qaeda and Taliban and all the crimes they committed.

He underlined, `We are serious about fighting terrorism including this notorious group.

We have already arrested and extradited hundreds of them to their countries of origin.

Some of them are in prison.

Dr Kharrazi pointed out, `If they have violated our security we are entitled to bring them to trial or to extradite them to their country.

Iranian foreign minister said, `If the Americans failed to overcome the al-Qaeda and faced other explosions they can not cover up their failure by such pretexts.

He added, `From the very beginning we said that it is impossible to combat extremism and terrorism by using force.

You should change people`s minds and it is not an easy job.

It reuires training, continuous work and pattern building.

Dr Kharrazi said, `You (Americans) should avoid actions that trigger hatred in the region but regrettably you acted the wrong way.

Today, people`s hatred for the US policies in the region is increasing.

Referring to Iran`s nuclear program Dr Khatrrazi said, `It is our right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purpose under the NPT`, adding, `it is the US and others that do not honour their commitments and have not helped Iran to use nuclear energy for peaceful purpose and instead imposed sanctions on it.

Dr Kharrazi said, `What the US has done in connection with Iran`s nuclear program runs counter to international law.

But we have not violated any thing, rather we have acted under the supervision of the IAEA to restoe our rights.

He unserlined, `We have put all our sites under the safety of the IAEA and we are committed to inform them before construction of any new site.

So, our case is very transparent. Iranian foreign minister said, `The US should not use its political power and capability to force others to cooperate with it.