President Ahmadinejad (file photo) (AFP)
April 29, 2006 -- Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said today Tehran's decison to pursue its controversial nuclear program was "irreversible."
He called on the West to respect what he said were Iran's "rights" and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- and not the UN Security Council -- to deal with its case.
The IAEA on April 28 reported to the Security Council that Iran had ignored UN demands to halt uranium enrichment.
Following the report, the United States said it would pursue in the Security Council a resolution that would make any demands on Tehran legally binding and could allow enforcement through punitive sanctions, or the possible use of military force.
Mohammad Javad Saidi, deputy chief of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, earlier today said that Tehran would agree to intrusive international inspections of its nuclear facilities if its case is brought back to the IAEA.
READOn 4 February, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency approved in a 27-3 vote a resolution to report the matter of Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council. The key section of the resolution is Section 1, which states that the Board of Governors:
Underlines that outstanding questions can best be resolved and confidence built in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's program by Iran responding positively to the calls for confidence-building measures which the Board has made on Iran, and in this context deems it necessary for Iran to:
- reestablish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and processing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the Agency;
- reconsider the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water;
- ratify promptly and implement in full Additional Protocol;
- pending ratification, continue to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol with Iran signed on 18 December 2003;
- implement the transparency measures, as requested by the Director General, which extend beyond the former requirements of the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and include such access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military-owned workshops and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations.
COMPLETE TEXT: To read the final resolution, with late-hour changes highlighted, click here.
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.