Oil Report

Iran issues warning on nuclear cooperation

TEHRAN, June 1 (Reuters) - Iran suggested on Sunday it may move to limit cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, which last week said Tehran’s alleged research into nuclear warheads remained a matter of serious concern.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also said in its report released on May 26 that Tehran should provide more information on its missile-related work.

Despite such language, a senior Iranian official last week said the report by the Vienna-based U.N. agency again showed that Tehran’s nuclear programme was peaceful.

But Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman on Sunday said Iran had expected more from the IAEA and that it could have submitted a “better report” had it not been for the “continuing pressures of one or two known countries,” without naming them.

Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini added: “At any rate, the trend of cooperation ... should continue in a way that, as Dr Larijani pointed out, the (Iranian) parliament and the Islamic Republic of Iran would not be compelled to review the going trend of the cooperation and adopt new limitations.”

He was referring to Iran’s former chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, who on Wednesday said the current levels of cooperating with the IAEA were in jeopardy if major powers continued to “kick around” Iran’s disputed nuclear case.

Hosseini did not elaborate under what circumstances and in what way Iran might limit cooperation with the IAEA.

Iran in 2006 ended voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-proliferation Treaty that allowed for short notice IAEA inspections of its nuclear sites, after being referred to the U.N. Security Council.

Earlier on Sunday in Singapore, French Defence Minister Herve Morin said Iran should open its nuclear installations to international scrutiny to clear suspicions about its ambitions.

“We support calls that Iran demonstrates through total opening of its installations that Iran is not conducting nuclear programme with military purposes and goals,” he said.

The IAEA has been pressing Tehran to provide answers to Western intelligence accusations that it covertly studied how to design atomic bombs.

Iran has rejected the intelligence as baseless, forged or irrelevant. “Our activities are fully peaceful and the supposed studies are completely baseless,” Hosseini said.

Another senior Iranian official on Saturday ruled out Iran halting uranium enrichment, only days before major powers are expected to submit an upgraded package of incentives to try to coax Tehran into halting such activities.

Iran has agreed to a visit by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana to submit the package of incentives offered to Tehran if it suspends uranium enrichment.

Enriched uranium can be used as fuel for power plants or, if refined much further, provide material for nuclear weapons. (Reporting by Hossein Jaseb in Tehran; Editing by Peter Millership)