Iran’s nuclear program on top of EU chief’s agenda in China visit

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton listens to a question during her news conference after the high-level talks between world powers and Iranian officials in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Saturday, April 6, 2013.

The European Union says Iran’s nuclear energy program has been among the “strategic” issues on the agenda of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton during her visit to China, Press TV reports.

Ashton’s visit kicked off on Thursday and was due to wrap up on Sunday. Earlier in April, Ashton headed the P5+1 – permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – during the group’s latest round of comprehensive talks with Iran in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Chinese experts suggest there is a lack of unity within the P5+1 because the independence of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been undermined.

“The IAEA should shake off the American influence in conducting independent, objective and fair investigation. If the investigation is independent and fair, I think Iran will then cooperate,” said Cui Hongjian, from China Institute of International Studies.

The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Despite allegations by the US and the Israeli regime, a report last year by 16 American intelligence agencies confirmed that Tehran is not seeking to build nuclear weapons. The Israeli intelligence community also agreed with the assessment.

Iran rejects the allegations, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted toward non-civilian purposes.

By Press TV


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