April 29, 2006

Iran to allow atomic checks if UN drops case

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran on Saturday said it was willing to
resume allowing snap U.N. atomic inspections if its case were
dropped by the U.N. Security Council and passed back to the
International Atomic Energy Agency.

But Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy
Organization, said Iran would not yield to U.N. demands that it
abandon uranium enrichment, and criticized Friday's report by
Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

ElBaradei said U.N. checks in Iran had been hampered and
Tehran had rebuffed requests to stop making nuclear fuel.

"The report was not completely satisfactory for us and we
believe that the report could have been done better than that,"
Saeedi told state television.

However, Saeedi insisted Iran would be able to answer
ElBaradei's concerns about the access granted to U.N.
inspectors if Tehran's nuclear dossier were dropped by the U.N.
Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions.

"If the case returns to the agency again, we will begin the
section that concerns the Additional Protocol," he said.

"The enrichment will continue. But ... we will continue
implementing the Additional Protocol as a voluntary measure."

The Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty allows short-notice inspections of nuclear facilities.

"If they change their decision and choose the wise path,
and the case returns to the IAEA, we believe we can solve all
the issues mentioned in ElBaradei's eight-page report very
quickly," he said.