Iran's Cooperation with IAEA 'Not Over'

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CBNNews.com - TEHRAN, Iran - On Thursday, Iranian Vice President Gholam Reza Aghazadeh said Iran will no longer cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) investigation of the country's nuclear weapons programs.

On Friday, Iran's chief envoy, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, announced that the statement had been "misconstrued."

According to Soltanieh, Aghazadeh's discussion with IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei did not mean that Iran was reducing its IAEA ties.

"We will continue our cooperation with the agency in accordance with our legal obligations," Soltanieh said, while affirming the vice president's statement that such a probe was "beyond the domain of the IAEA."

Aghazadeh's position was not unexpected after Tehran defied demands in six-party talks to halt its uranium enrichment program, which would allow the production of nuclear weapons.

Last Saturday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the six nations would not seek additional UN sanctions against Iran if the country ceased its quest for enrichment.

But on Wednesday, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran's uranium enrichment program was strictly for peaceful purposes and it would not "retreat one iota."

Many officials claimed the IAEA's investigation would likely fail after Iran repeatedly missed deadlines and refused to expose research facilities or offer explanations for suspicious activities.

As of Friday, however, Iran said it will continue to cooperate with the agency.

SOURCE: The Associated Press

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