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memri
December 21, 2004 No.
200

The Iran-E.U. Agreement on Iran's Nuclear Activity

By: A. Savyon*
Introduction

The November 25, 2004 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors was to be the "crucial session" on the issue of Iran's nuclear dossier. This was after the previous board meeting, of September 18, had concluded by calling on Iran to either immediately suspend all its uranium enrichment activity or have its dossier handed over to the United Nations Security Council for discussion.[1]

On the eve of this crucial session, the Iranian reformist newspaper Iran Daily, which is close to Iranian President Muhammad Khatami, warned in an op-ed that if Iran's nuclear dossier is referred to the Security Council, "it will give Iran further moral right to continue its nuclear research. Freed from all shackles, the enrichment program may even go a step further, and perhaps, the ultimate in nuclear technology – and no power would be able to hold Tehran back…"[2]

To prevent a possible crisis, Iran and The E.U. Three – Germany, France and Britain – convened during the weeks preceding this crucial session for frenetic negotiations in order to reach an understanding to be presented to the IAEA prior to the session. This came after two years of ongoing dialogue between Iran and The E.U. Three had produced only agreements that were unsatisfactory to both parties.

This report reviews the results of this crucial IAEA Board of Governors meeting and their ramifications for the future of Iran's nuclear activities.

Overview of Previous Episodes in the Iran-E.U. Negotiations

During the two years of Iran-E.U. negotiations up to September 2004, the two parties arrived at two agreements that complemented each other but satisfied neither party:

a) The October 2003 Tehran Declaration, in which Iran announced that it agreed to sign the Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and that it was willing to suspend its uranium-enrichment activities "as a confidence-building gesture."

b) The February 2004 Brussels Understandings, in which Iran announced that it had suspended its uranium-enrichment activity and specifically set out its elements, which included the manufacture, assembly, and testing of centrifuges and centrifuge parts.

In exchange, The E.U. Three pledged to have Iran's nuclear dossier closed at the June 2004 IAEA Board of Governors meeting, and also to supply Iran with advanced nuclear technology. However, because of Iranian violations, this meeting ended up instead with the IAEA, following a European initiative, condemning Iran for its violations and for its failure to fully comply with the agency's inspectors.

In response, Iran resumed its uranium-enrichment activity, and claimed that in the Brussels Understandings it had committed itself to merely a temporary suspension of enrichment activity, and that it was Europe who had defaulted on its commitments to Iran.

The next IAEA Board of Governors meeting, in September 2004, concluded that if Iran did not halt all uranium-enrichment activity by the date of the next meeting, i.e. November 25, 2004, its nuclear dossier would be transferred to the U.N. Security Council.[3]

The Results of Negotiations Prior to the 'Crucial Session' and the Paris Agreement

The frenetic negotiations in the two weeks prior to the crucial IAEA November 25 session concluded on November 14, 2004, with an agreement called the Paris Agreement. The IAEA adopted this agreement as a basis for the discussions in the crucial session and for its conclusions regarding the future.[4]However, even though the parties had reached this agreement prior to the crucial session, the session nevertheless turned into a five-day negotiation marathon rife with crises that produced four draft resolutions. Ultimately, on November 29, the IAEA arrived at a resolution based on the Paris Agreement.[5]

The IAEA November Resolution

The IAEA Board of Governors resolution removed the threat of Iran's nuclear dossier being transferred to the U.N. Security Council, and promised Iran a package of benefits from the E.U.: E.U. support for Iran's membership in the World Trade Organization;[6]access to nuclear technology for a light-water reactor and nuclear fuel for civilian purposes; membership in the IAEA (Nuclear) Fuel Cycle Committee;[7]security aid; economic aid; funding; and more.

What Were Iran's Undertakings In Exchange?

Suspension of Uranium-Enrichment Activity

The two main aspects of the E.U. demand for a comprehensive and indefinite suspension of uranium-enrichment activity were not met:

A. The Duration of the Suspension

Iran's position throughout the negotiations was that in principle it had the right to engage in nuclear activity and to enrich uranium because of its membership in the NPT – and that it would never relinquish this right.

The E.U. gave in to Iran on this demand in the Paris Agreement, and the IAEA's concluding resolution adopting the Paris Agreement does not include an absolute and indefinite halt of activity by Iran.

Instead, Iran announced a "voluntary, non-legally-binding, confidence-building measure," the duration of which, according to the Paris Agreement, would depend on two conditions:[8]

a) Ongoing negotiations with the E.U. over a long-term arrangement regarding Iran's nuclear activity; and

b) No IAEA resolution taken against Iran.

Along with these conditions regarding the duration of the suspension of enrichment activity, the Iranian officials involved in the negotiations as well as Iranian leaders stressed that this was to be a suspension lasting "a few months only, not years" – as Iranian National Security Council Secretary Hassan Rowhani, who represents Iran's nuclear affairs, told a press conference following the conclusion of the Paris Agreement: "Iran has not withdrawn from any of its principles. We do not accept a suspension based on the [IAEA] resolution. We accept a temporary and voluntary suspension based on a political deal with Europe. Tehran's red line was not to agree to a permanent suspension of the enrichment process."[9]

At the same time as the IAEA issued its resolution, Iranian Leader 'Ali Khamenei challenged: "Iran will not completely halt its nuclear activity – this is a red line for us… Iran is developing nuclear technology as a national industry."[10]Expediency Council Chairman and former Iranian president 'Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani emphasized in a Friday, December 3 sermon that "the suspension was set for a maximum of six months [only] in order to assure the IAEA that Iran's nuclear activity was for peaceful purposes."[11]Also, Iranian President Muhammad Khatami stated: "We have declared that we will never accept an indefinite suspension, and we will defend our rights."[12]

At a press conference following the IAEA resolution, Secretary Hassan Rowhani stressed that the suspension would be implemented as long as talks with the E.U. continued, and that the E.U. must meet its obligations first: "I want to make it clear that the suspension period will only cover the time when negotiations are going on with Europe. That's all."[13]

Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezai continued in the same vein, stating that "Iran will be unable to suspend its [uranium] enrichment [activity] for a lengthy period."[14]

B. The Scope of the Suspension

Iran's position was that the suspension of uranium-enrichment activities would not include research and development activity,[15]and based on this, Iran demanded that the following not be included in the suspension:

a) Continued activity of 20 centrifuge sets located in Iran; and

b) Continued construction of the heavy water reactor at Arak as well as the 40-megawatt nuclear research reactor next to it.[16]

The Europeans gave in to Iran on the "research and development" issue as well. They agreed to the continued operation of the 20 centrifuge sets, and agreed that the centrifuges would not be shut down and locked, but rather would continue to function under IAEA camera surveillance in exchange for Iran's willingness to continue with negotiations on this issue in the two weeks following the IAEA resolution.[17]

However, it must be emphasized that according to the agreement on this issue, it is not the operation of the systems that is to be discussed in the negotiations, but merely the "nature" of their activity. This agreement was aimed at preventing a further crisis with Iran at the last minute that could have overturned the entire negotiations and led to Iran's nuclear dossier being handed over to the U.N. Security Council.

With regard to the Arak heavy water reactor, neither the IAEA resolution nor the Paris Agreement mentions it specifically.[18]

The failure by both the IAEA resolution and the Paris Agreement to address the issue of Iran's "research and development" activity enables the Iranians to claim that it was agreed that their "research and development" activity be excluded from the suspension, as expressed by Secretary Hassan Rowhani, who stated that the suspension "does not and will not include research activity."[19]The Europeans did not deny this statement by Iran.

Although the Europeans gave in to Iran on questions of principle, and even immediately began to implement some of their promises to the Iranians,[20]Iran continues to warn that if Europe does not meet its obligations, or if the talks on the long-term arrangement fail or go on for too long, they will consider themselves freed from their obligation under the Paris Agreement, and will resume their uranium enrichment.[21]

Moreover, according to statements by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran will continue uranium enrichment activity not only if Europe does not meet al its obligations but also if it does – because this is "the red line as far as [Iran] is concerned."[22]

Iran's Perception of the Outcome of the 'Crucial Session:' Further European Legitimization of Iran's Nuclear Program, and an Iranian Victory

Iran considers the IAEA resolution, which was based on the negotiations and the Paris Agreement, to be a political and diplomatic "victory" for Iran. Iranian President Khatami said: "The fact that we prevented our nuclear dossier from being transferred to the U.N. Security Council is a victory for us." The Iranian newspapers, particularly the reformist papers, declared an Iranian political and diplomatic victory over Europe and the U.S.[23]

Iran maintains that it has abandoned none of its national interests: It did not commit itself to giving up its nuclear activity in the final agreement, if and when such an agreement is achieved.

Tehran stressed that it considers the E.U.'s recognition of and support for its right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes to be an achievement. Further, it has also emphasized that its suspension of uranium-enrichment activity is not legally binding but a voluntary confidence-building measure that it can stop at any time.

Iran draws a distinction between its own and the E.U.'s role in this "political deal:" While it presents its own agreeing to a temporary suspension as a voluntary, non-legally-binding measure, it presents the E.U.'s promises as binding, and states that if the E.U. does not fulfill them, the consequences will be grave. Rafsanjani said about the Europeans: "If they do not honor their obligations to Iran, the Iran-E.U. agreement will be called off."[24]

Secretary Hassan Rowhani told a press conference following the November 29 IAEA resolution that a final agreement should be reached within three to four months, during which Iran's dossier at the IAEA will be closed. "However, if the [Iran-E.U.] negotiations do not recognize our rights [to nuclear activity], we will continue with our activity… The suspension will continue as long as the related negotiations are underway. But if the talks end up facing a dead end, we will not be committed any more and the suspension will end…" He added that Iran was expecting that the negotiations would not take long, so as not to create a sense among Iranians that they are a waste of time.[25]

Iranian President Khatami stated in a similar vein: "In the event that [the E.U.] refuses to keep its promises, we will naturally do likewise… We have declared that we will never accept an indefinite suspension, and that we will defend our rights… I advise [the E.U.] … to gain our trust."[26]

In an editorial, the reformist newspaper Iran Daily said, "Needless to say that any time Europe backtracks on the promises made in Paris, Tehran will have the right to abrogate the pact… There are reasons to believe that Europe may try to deviate from the agreement and raise the issue of human rights and political freedoms in Iran… If the European powers honestly seek a new chapter … they should work with sincerity and reinforce the confidence-building measures … to win the trust of Tehran…"[27]

Tehran also took pride in its success at isolating the U.S. in the international arena and driving a wedge between the U.S. and the EU.[28]

The leader of Iran's negotiating team for the E.U. and the IAEA, Hussein Mousavian, said that Tehran had managed to remove Iran's nuclear dossier from the IAEA's urgent agenda. He added that the IAEA resolution enabled the IAEA to follow up all the remaining questions within the framework of the Safeguards and the NPT's Additional Protocol, and to submit its final report at a time appropriate for the IAEA Board of Governors without setting any deadline whatsoever.[29]

Mousavian further said that the text of the resolution notes that all of Iran's nuclear activity had been inspected by the IAEA, and that no evidence of deviation, i.e. activity geared towards producing nuclear weapons, had been found.

It should be noted that Iran had refused to permit visits to military sites where nuclear activity was suspected, which contradicts Mousavian's statements that all of Iran's nuclear activity had been inspected. However, instead of mentioning this refusal by Iran, the IAEA resolution stated (also in contradiction to Mousavian's statements) that no conclusions can yet be drawn regarding the existence of unreported nuclear materials or activity, and that "there are many violations by Iran."[30]

According to Iranian spokesmen, the entire negotiation process, the agreements, and the understandings with the E.U. were aimed at legitimizing Iran's nuclear program.

Secretary Hassan Rowhani stressed that Iran "would in no way forsake its rights and [international] acknowledgement of its rights that are considered essential according to the NPT… No document, guarantee, or resolution could ever persuade Iran to abandon its legitimate and legal right to gain access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes… Iran has not halted its fuel cycle, and will never do it, either… Iran does not fear the threats [by the U.S.]."

Rowhani added that the talks on the long-term arrangement would begin December 13, with the aim of obtaining E.U. guarantees for launching its peaceful nuclear activities as well as its fuel cycle and enrichment activity, and also to obtain a firm promise from the industrialized European countries for nuclear cooperation. Rowhani further said, "Iran has adopted a policy of entering into dialogue and developing trust and understanding in its dealings with the world."[31]He also told a press conference that "Iran still wants to attain a full nuclear fuel cycle."[32]

In an article titled "Getting Accustomed to Living with a Nuclear Iran" published in the Iranian daily Kayhan, which is close to Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei, columnist Mahdi Mohammedi wrote that Iran had reached the point of no return with the nuclear technology that it had acquired.[33]

A member of the Iranian negotiations team for the E.U, Sirus Nasseri, said, "Iran, as a country that has obtained [nuclear] fuel cycle technology despite illegal restrictions [imposed upon it], wishes to address the legitimate and genuine concerns regarding the peaceful nature of its nuclear program."[34]

Vice Chairman of Iran's Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Muhammad Nabi Ruodaki added that in its talks with The E.U. Three, Iran must stress that it had acquired nuclear fuel technology through domestic efforts on the part of 1,100 Iranian scientists. "The red line with regard to peaceful nuclear technology is gaining access to the fuel cycle. The [Iranian] negotiating team should not cross this red line. We must now be viewed as a country that has access to nuclear fuel. We can not go back…"[35]

Appendices

Appendix I: The Paris Agreement, November 14, 2004

In the Paris Agreement, Iran insisted on its right to enrich uranium, in its capacity as a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Two issues were a source of dispute: the duration of the suspension, and the scope of the suspension. [36]

According to the agreement, Iran agreed only to a temporary and voluntary suspension of its uranium enrichment activity.[37]The suspension is not legally binding, and is presented by Iran as a confidence-building measure aimed at the international community. According to the agreement, the suspension's duration is to be the duration of the talks between Iran and The E.U. Three towards a long-term arrangement, and providing that:

a) The IAEA makes no resolutions against Iran, and as a first step, removes Iran's nuclear dossier from its urgent agenda [which was achieved];

b) As a second step, within the next three months – during which Iran-E.U. negotiations will be conducted – Iran will receive a benefits package from the E.U. This package is to include E.U. support for Iran's membership in the World Trade Organization; access to nuclear technology for a light-water reactor and nuclear fuel for civilian purposes; membership in the IAEA [Nuclear] Fuel Cycle Committee;[38]and security aid.

It was stated that the negotiations would begin December 13 and would continue in three joint work teams that would discuss the implementation of the package of benefits in advance of the final agreement.[39]

Iran maintains that it will no longer see itself as bound by the suspension if the talks fail or if the E.U. does not meet its obligations. The European position is that the Paris Agreement provides an opening for the final agreement. But while the E.U. maintains that Iran must permanently halt uranium-enrichment activities, Iran has declared that it will never give up its right to uranium enrichment, and that its suspension of activity is strictly temporary and that it will last "a number of months, not years."[40]Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said: "The present agreement reached between Iran and The E.U. Three differs from the previous ones in that in the past, Europe and the other countries insisted that Iran completely stop its enrichment program, while now they are concentrating on how Tehran can proceed with its nuclear activities without causing anxiety to other countries. These are important and essential differences."[41]

Appendix II: The IAEA Resolution Session, November 25-29, 2004

During the IAEA session, November 25-29, the E.U., with Russia's support, attempted to dictate a text that was stricter towards Iran than the Paris Agreement, in the following ways:

a) To include a call for an indefinite suspension of Iran's uranium-enrichment activity.

b) To set up an automatic condition for the transfer of Iran's dossier to the U.N. Security Council in the event that Iran violates the agreement.

c) To ensure that IAEA inspectors have free access to all nuclear facilities in Iran.

Iran, with the backing of the Non-Aligned Movement, resisted these pressures, and the E.U. backed down from their demands.

Thus, the text of the final agreement reached on November 29, at the end of the session, was more favorable to Iran, and was based on the November 14 Paris Agreement.[42]

On the basis of Iran's declaration in the Paris Agreement that it would suspend all uranium-enrichment activity as a "confidence-building measure that is voluntary and non-legally binding," the IAEA approved the removal of Iran's dossier from its urgent agenda.[43]

Two central issues that stood at the center of the dispute appear to remain unresolved:

A. The Duration of the Suspension

Since the IAEA decision mentions the Iran-E.U. Paris Agreement, the inevitable interpretation is that the understandings arrived at in the Paris Agreement would be binding upon Iran and the international community. That is: "The suspension will continue as long as negotiations for an agreement acceptable to both sides on long-term arrangements are ongoing. The E.U. Three/ E.U. thus recognize that this suspension is a voluntary confidence-building measure that is not legally binding."[44]

The dispute over the time element was and remains a matter of principle for both Iran and the E.U.

B. The Scope of the Suspension

Despite its commitment to suspend all uranium-enrichment activity, two days before the IAEA resolution, Iran insisted on continuing to operate 20 centrifuge sets for uranium enrichment "for research and development."

In order for the IAEA to be able to pass the resolution, Iran agreed to include the 20 centrifuge sets in the temporary suspension, and to conduct talks with The E.U. Three on the nature of its activity, in the two weeks following the decision.[45]However, in actual fact, the centrifuges are not shut down and locked, but continue to function under IAEA camera surveillance.

Furthermore, it is becoming clear that the construction of the heavy-water reactor at Arak is continuing, as is the operation of the research reactor next to it, within the same interpretation of "research and development purposes."[46]In spite of the European position that the suspension includes all nuclear activity, Secretary Hassan Rowhani stated that research and development were not included in the suspension.[47]The Europeans did not deny Rowhani's statement.

* Ayelet Savyon is Director of MEMRI's Iranian Media Project.


[1]See Iran's Nuclear Policy Crisis, "Iran's Nuclear Policy Crisis," September 21, 2004; Iran Rejects the European Offer to Supply it With Nuclear Fuel, "Iran Rejects the European Offer to Supply it With Nuclear Fuel," October 21, 2004.

[2]Iran Daily (Iran), November 15, 2004.

[3]See Iran's Nuclear Policy Crisis.

[4]See text of agreement published by Kayhan (Iran), November 16, 2004.

[5]See text of the IAEA Board of Governors resolution, "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran," of November 29, 2004: http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2004/gov2004-90_derestrict.pdf

[6]However, on December 13, the U.S. once again vetoed Iran’s membership in the WTO, as it did in previous years. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Reza Asefi said: "The Europeans did back (Iran), but their power was not sufficient … the important thing is that the Europeans should pressure the Americans and make them face the new reality (and to accept Iran's membership to the WTO)," Kayhan (Iran), December 20.

[7]This obligation has already been met. Iran was invited to serve as a member of the committee, which is slated to hold its third session in January 2005. Iranian National Security Council Secretary Rowhani, IRNA (Iran), December 12, 2004.

[8]See text of the agreement as published by IRNA (Persian), November 15, 2004; Kayhan, November 16, 2004. Even after this agreement, the question of the duration of the suspension seemed to be circumvented; no duration was explicitly stated in the resolution. However, since the resolution mentions the E.U.-Iran Paris Agreement, the inevitable interpretation is that the understandings in the Paris Agreement are binding upon both Iran and the international community, as it states: " The suspension will continue as long as negotiations for an agreement acceptable to both sides on long-term arrangements are ongoing. The E.U. Three/E.U. thus recognize that this suspension is a voluntary confidence-building measure that is not legally binding."

[9]Iranian National Security Council Secretary Rowhani at a press conference: IRNA (Iran), November 15, 2004; and statements in Kayhan (Iran), December 1, 2004; IRNA, November 30, 2004.

[10]Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Iran); Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), November 30, 2004.

[11]Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Iran), December 3, 2004; Rafsanjani in a Friday sermon at Tehran University: "We Will Soon Join the Nuclear Club" – Clip No. 399, http://memritv.org/Transcript.asp?P1=399; Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in response that Rafsanjani had indicated six months merely "by way of example." IRNA, December 5, 2004. One of the diplomats involved in the negotiations said immediately following the Paris Agreement that Iran had agreed to a six-month suspension. IRNA (Iran), November 14, 2004.

[12]IRNA (Iran), November 17, 2004.

[13]IRNA (Iran), November 30, 2004; Kayhan (Iran), December 1, 2004.

[14]Kayhan (Iran), December 2, 2004.

[15]Iranian National Security Council Secretary Hassan Rowhani stated that the suspension "does not and will not include research activity." IRNA, November 30, 2004; Kayhan (Iran), December 1, 2004.

[16]See statements by Iranian Atomic Energy Organization International Affairs Deputy Muhammad-Reza Sa'idi, December 7, 2004, http://memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=412

[17]Mousavian statements, Kayhan (Iran), December 1; November 11, 2004. Also, IAEA Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei noted that Iran had suspended all its enrichment activity except for 20 research-and-development centrifuge sets. IRNA (Iran), November 29, 2004.

[18]There may be other nuclear sites operating under the category of "research and development."

[19]Rowhani's statements came at a press conference on the issue of the 20 centrifuge sets, in spite of the E.U. position that the suspension includes all nuclear activity. IRNA (Iran), November 30, 2004; Kayhan (Iran), December 1, 2004.

[20]Iran was invited to serve as a member of the IAEA Nuclear Fuel Cycle Committee. Rowhani, IRNA (Iran), December 12. The Iranian delegation for talks with Europe is currently en route to Brussels for discussions on the implementation of the promises. Working groups were set up between the E.U. and Iran on political and security issues, technology and cooperation and nuclear issues. It was decided that Britain is responsible for the economic and trade issue, Germany for the political and security issue and France for the nuclear issue. IRNA (Iran), December 12; Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), December 13; Kayhan (Iran), December 14; Sharq (Iran), December 19, 2004.

[21]According to an Iran Daily report, Western diplomats said that "Iranians want to conclude the talks within months, while the Europeans envision them taking years." Iran Daily, December 11, 2004. Prior to his departure for Brussels for a meeting of European foreign ministers, Rowhani said, "If no progress is made in the talks, we will halt them." Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), December 13, 2004. Rowhani also said: “The suspension will continue as long as the related negotiations are underway. But if the talks end up facing a dead end, we will not be committed any more and the suspension will end…" He added that Iran was expecting that the negotiations would not take long, so as not to create a sense among Iranians that they are a waste of time. IRNA, November 30, 2004; Kayhan (Iran), December 1, December 15, 2004.

[22]See Jomhouri-ye Eslami (Iran), Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), November 30, 2004.

[23]IRNA (Iran), November 17, 2004; Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), November 30, 2004; Iran Daily, November 30, 2004; December 2, 2004.

[24]IRNA (Iran), December 5, 2004.

[25]IRNA (Iran), November 30, 2004; Kayhan (Iran), December 1, December 15, 2004.

[26]IRNA (Iran), November 17, 2004.

[27]Iran Daily, December 2, 2004; statements of this nature also appeared in an editorial published in Abrar (Iran), November 30, 2004.

[28]Statements by Mousavian on a visit to China, IRNA, November 24, 2004. Behind the scenes of the E.U.-Iran negotiations, it became known that China and Russia had clarified that they would not veto anti-Iran decisions in the U.N. Security Council due to U.S. pressure if Iran's dossier was transferred to the U.N. Security Council. Nonetheless, China announced that it supported reaching an acceptable solution through negotiations among Iran, Europe and the IAEA. Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), November 9, 2004; It also became clear that Russia, for its own reasons, had pressured Iran and the E.U. for a stricter resolution against Iran. MEHR News Agency (Iran), November 29; 30, 2004.

[29]Iran opposed granting unlimited access to all of its nuclear sites, including those in military bases, and consented to IAEA inspection of its facilities provided there would be adherence only to the Safeguards and the Additional Protocol.

[30]See IAEA Board of Governors resolution, November 29, 2004:

http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2004/gov2004-90_derestrict.pdf

[31]IRNA, November 30, 2004; Kayhan (Iran), December 1, 2004.

[32]IRNA, November 15, 2004. See also Rowhani’s statements in an interview broadcast on Iranian TV "Technologically, We Have Obtained the Nuclear Fuel Cycle," http://memritv.org/Transcript.asp?P1=416

[33]Kayhan (Iran), November 17, 2004.

[34]IRNA (Iran), November 29, 2004.

[35]Iran Daily, December 13, 2004.

[36]Iranian President Khatami said that Iranian Leader Khamenei, along with other senior regime officials, was involved in the details of the negotiations and that "whenever we feel that this trend [of the negotiations] might threaten our interests, we have a free hand to change our course." IRNA (Iran), November 17, 2004.

[37]See text of the agreement as published by Kayhan (Iran), November 16, 2004.

[38]This obligation has already been met. Iran was invited to serve as a member of the committee, which is slated to hold its third session in January 2005. Rowhani, IRNA (Iran), December 12, 2004.

[39]The negotiations began on December 13, and the working groups were set up between the E.U. and Iran on political and security issues, technology and cooperation, and nuclear issues. It was decided that Britain is responsible for the economic and trade issue, Germany for the political and security issue and France for the nuclear issue. Kayhan (Iran), December 14; Sharq (Iran), December 19, 2004.

[40]Statements by Rowhani, who represents Iran at the E.U.-Iran talks, at a press conference: "Tehran's red line has been complete suspension of the uranium-enrichment process. Iran has not backed down from any of its principles: We did not accept suspension based on the [IAEA] resolution; we accept a temporary and voluntary suspension based on a political deal with Europe." IRNA (Iran), November 15, 2004; Rowhani's statements in Kayhan (Iran), December 1, 2004; IRNA (Iran), November 30, 2004.

[41]Kayhan (Iran), IRNA (Iran), November 15, 2004.

[42]See the November 29, 2004 IAEA Board of Governors resolution, http://www.iaea.org/Publications/Documents/Board/2004/gov2004-90_derestrict.pdf

[43]Iran announced its suspension of uranium-enrichment activity beginning November 22, 2004.

[44]See text of the agreement as published by IRNA (Persian), November 15, 2004; Kayhan (Iran), November 16, 2004.

[45]It was decided that the 20 centrifuge sets would not be shut down and locked, as Europe was demanding; rather, they would operate under IAEA camera surveillance. Statements by Mousavian, Kayhan (Iran), November 29, 2004; Iranian National Security Council Secretary Hassan Rowhani, Kayhan (Iran), December 1, 2004; IRNA (Iran), November 30, 2004. Also, IAEA Director-General Elbaradei noted that Iran had suspended all uranium enrichment activity except for 20 centrifuge sets for research and development. IRNA (Iran), November 29, 2004.

[46]See statements by Iranian Atomic Energy Organization International Affairs Deputy Muhammad-Reza Sa'idi, December 7, 2004, http://memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=412

[47]On the issue of the 20 centrifuge sets, Secretary Rowhani stressed that the suspension "does not and will not include research activity." IRNA (Iran), November 30, 2004; Kayhan (Iran), December 1, 2004.