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Asia-pacific

Iranian parliament to rethink cooperation with UN nuclear watchdog

Video by Aurore Cloe DUPUIS

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-13

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said Sunday that Iran should re-evaluate its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying a recent report on the country's nuclear programme amounted to "hostility" from Israel and the US.

AFP- Iran must review its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog due to the hostile nature of a report on the country's atomic programme, parliament speaker Ali Larijani warned on Sunday.

In an explicit warning to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Larijani said the tone of the report amounted to "hostility and a copy of orders" issued by arch-foes Israel and the US.

"The parliament deems necessary to review (Iran's) cooperation with the agency, because it showed with its new approach that cooperation and non-cooperation makes no difference in its decision -- which are unprofessional anyway," he said in remarks made to lawmakers.

The UN nuclear watchdog released a report on Tuesday expressing serious concerns about "credible" evidence of Iran working towards the development of nuclear warheads to fit inside its medium-range missiles.

Iranian officials immediately characterised the report as "baseless" and hewing to intelligence provided by Israel and the United States.

Larijani's warning comes after Iran's envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said Wednesday Tehran "will continue to comply with its commitments under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty" -- which obliges Iran to cooperate.

The parliament, dominated by hardliners of the Islamic regime, traditionally takes a tougher stance than the government when it comes to major issues of sovereignty, such as Iran's nuclear issue or relations with the West.

It passed legislation in 2010 forbidding the government to abandon uranium enrichment -- the most sensitive part of its nuclear programme -- as Tehran was negotiating with the major powers on an exchange of atomic fuel.

Subject to four sets of UN sanctions and several Western sanctions over its enrichment programme, Iran has so far refused to freeze its uranium enrichment activities.

Date created : 2011-11-13

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