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UN Nuclear Inspectors Vow No Special Concessions to Iran - 2003-09-19

The International Atomic Energy Agency says there can be no deals with Iran in return for a full and accurate disclosure of its nuclear program.

The spokesman for the IAEA, Mark Gwozdecky, says no special benefits can be offered to Iran for fulfilling its obligations to the agency. He says it must be treated like all other nations.

"It's a one-size-fits-all thing. The protocol is working in 37 countries right now, and nobody's complaining of our abusing the authority in it," he said. "It works well. Remember, Iran was one of the countries in our membership that helped to negotiate this additional protocol, push it through and umpteen (many) times encourage everybody in the world to sign it. Iran is part of the process that brought us the protocol."

The IAEA protocol provides for more intrusive nuclear inspections than Iran now allows. Mr. Gwozdecky says Iran would gain credibility by signing the protocol, and could prove to the world that it has no nuclear weapons program.

The resolution passed by the IAEA Board of Governors last week called for Iran to promptly and unconditionally sign, ratify and implement the protocol.

The resolution received the backing of all board members, including Russia and China, and set a deadline of the end of October for Iran to comply.

The Iranian delegation walked out of the meeting in protest against what it saw as the poisonous language of the resolution. Iran has indicated it would sign the additional protocol, but only in return for access to western nuclear technology.