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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 March, 2004, 12:52 GMT
Iran seeks nuclear file closure
Hassan Rowhani
Rowhani made two demands of the IAEA
A senior Iranian official has urged the UN's atomic watchdog to close its files on the country's nuclear programme, and accept that it is peaceful.

Hassan Rowhani, the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said the international community must recognise Iran as a nuclear country.

He said Iran had an inalienable right to continue its nuclear programme, which had been shown to be peaceful.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is due to discuss Iran on Monday.

The Tehran government is hoping that the IAEA's Vienna meeting will further improve the country's standing with the agency, and in turn boost hopes of trade talks with the European Union.

Last week, IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei spoke of a "sea change" in relations with Iran.

"We are clearly moving in the right direction," he said.

Nuclear club

Mr Rowhani did not give any time frame by which he hoped the IAEA would close its file on Iran, but he indicated it should happen soon.

Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant under construction
Iran says the world must accept its nuclear status
"We took steps toward confidence-building. ... We believe it is a world of give and take," he said.

But he stressed the world should accept that Iran was a nuclear power.

"That means Iran be recognised as a country having the nuclear fuel cycle, and enriching uranium," said Mr Rowhani.

The IAEA halted its enrichment programme last year, but Mr Rowhani reminded the international community that this move was only temporary.

"When to resume is in the hands of our system," he said.

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