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Iran 'Not Worried' About Tougher Nuclear Inspections - 2003-11-27

Iran said Thursday it is not worried about tougher inspections of its nuclear facilities following Wednesday's vote by the International Atomic Energy Agency warning Iran it would not tolerate any future violations of its rules.

Iran's supreme national security council chief, Hassan Rohani, was quoted by Iran's official news agency, IRNA, Thursday as saying Iran has no fear about tougher inspections of its nuclear facilities. Mr. Rohani said such inspections would prove its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes.

On Wednesday the IAEA condemned Iran for what it called an 18-year cover-up of nuclear research that included uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing, both of which are needed for a nuclear weapons program.

The United States says Iran's civilian nuclear program is a cover for a secret nuclear arms program.

The IAEA approved a resolution Wednesday that did not punish Iran for its past deception, but it warned Iran that it would consider other options if there are any further failures to report nuclear activities.

Mr. Rohani said Iran is not worried about the resolution and hailed it as blocking what he called a U.S.-led scenario against Iran.

Washington had been pushing for the issue to be sent to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions against Tehran for failing to meet its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But after new promises from Iran and negotiations involving Britain, France and Germany the matter was resolved within the IAEA, at least for now.

Mr. Rohani was quoted as saying Iran's relations with European countries and the IAEA had entered a new era.