AFP: Iran's conservative-controlled parliament said it would not ratify a treaty allowing tougher UN nuclear inspections after the International Atomic Energy Agency passed a tough resolution against the Islamic republic.
"The continued defiance of principles by the IAEA's board of governors leaves no room for us to ratify the additional protocol, and will lead us to question what is the point for the nation to leave its doors open for IAEA inspectors," said the statement read out in parliament. AFP

TEHRAN - Iran's conservative-controlled parliament said it would not ratify a treaty allowing tougher UN nuclear inspections after the International Atomic Energy Agency passed a tough resolution against the Islamic republic.

"The continued defiance of principles by the IAEA's board of governors leaves no room for us to ratify the additional protocol, and will lead us to question what is the point for the nation to leave its doors open for IAEA inspectors," said the statement read out in parliament.

Iran signed the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in December last year, but parliament had yet to ratify it. The text obliges Iran to accept tougher IAEA inspections, including short-notice visits to even undeclared facilities.

The resolution passed Saturday by the IAEA's board again "strongly urges" the Iranian parliament to ratify the text.

The IAEA also called on Iran to "immediately" suspend all activities related to the enrichment of uranium and set a November 25 deadline for a full review of Iran's nuclear activities.

But deputies in the Majlis responded by calling on the government to press on with fuel cycle work.

"We the deputies urge the government to seriously follow up with the completion of the fuel cycle programme for nuclear plants and pay no heed to resolutions," said the statement, carried live on state radio.

"We strongly reject the illegal clauses in this resolution and the inapproapriate response of the board of governors to the good intentions of the Islamic republic," it said.

Fuel cycle work is permitted under the NPT, but Iran has been under pressure to suspend and even halt such work because of its dual-use nature. The process of enriching uranium can be carried out to produce fuel for a nuclear reactor or the core of a nuclear bomb.

The Islamic regime insists its nuclear programme is strictly aimed at generating electricity.

In separate comments carried by Iranian media, a string of MPs lined up to condemn the latest resolution.

"We will ask the government to resume uranium enrichment. The parliament has rejected the board of governors' resolution and cannot be bullied," a senior MP, Ahmad Tavakoli, was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

"Peaceful nuclear technology is the right of Iranian nation and we will not give it up," said parliament speaker Gholam Ali Hadad-Adel. "Today the issue is whether Iran can trust the agency and not the other way around."

Iran's parliament has been controlled by hardliners and conservatives after most incumbent reformists were barred from contesting February's elections.