Iran will reject any restraints on its nuclear operations outside the international rules set by the industry watchdog, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday. "We will only accept the legal controls of the IAEA within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty," the president said during a visit by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano. "Any monitoring beyond those rules would be a precedent, against the interests of all developing countries," Rouhani said.
Amano made a one-day visit to Tehran ahead of an August 25 deadline for Iran to answer decade-old allegations of past nuclear weapons research. He held morning talks with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif before meeting Rouhani, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported. He later also met with Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation.
As part of the implementation of the interim deal it struck with world powers last November, Iran handed the IAEA documents in April and May relating to its past research, the first time it had done so in six years. The submissions were in response to a November 2011 IAEA report that it had intelligence that Iran had until 2003 and possibly since then conducted research into developing nuclear weapons. Addressing these claims, long refuted by Iran, would be an important element in the comprehensive accord over Tehran's nuclear programme that Iran and world powers want to strike by November 24.
The IAEA has raised a number of questions relating to the submissions and Tehran has until August 25 to reply to these. Amano had said in a May report that Iran showed information to the agency that "simultaneous firing of EBW (Explosive Bridge Wire detonators) was tested for a civilian application". At a press conference today in Tehran, Amano broached the issue again, saying Iran had provided information and explanations to the IAEA on Tehran's decision, in early 2000, to develop safer detonators.
"Iran has also provided information and explanations to the (IAEA) on its work post-2007 related to the application of EBWs in the oil and gas industry which is not inconsistent with specialised industry practices," he added. "The IAEA will need to consider all past outstanding issues, including EBWs, integrating all of them in a system and assessing the system as a whole." Amano in his talks with Rouhani today said he hoped "cooperation will continue in this more constructive atmosphere".