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Wed 20 Feb 2008 10:43 AM

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Iran insists UN has 'enough information'

Islamic Republic's top nuclear negotiator critcises Security Council over pushing for additional sanctions.

Iran's former top nuclear negotiator insisted in an interview published Wednesday that the UN's nuclear watchdog had enough information from the Islamic Republic about its nuclear programme.

Ali Larijani, speaking to the Financial Times, criticised the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany for pressing for more sanctions before a key IAEA report due out later this month.

Britain, China, France, Russia, the US and Germany agreed to push for a third UN resolution penalising Iran before International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei presents his report.

"It is (the) IAEA that is important to us," Larijani, who resigned from his post in October, told the business daily.

"We have finished answering all their ... questions."

The West accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran rejects, insisting that its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful and aimed at meeting energy needs.

The UN Security Council has already imposed two rounds of sanctions against Iran over the issue. ElBaradei's report is likely to influence whether, in the end, a third set will be approved.

"They have to continue it with shame," Larijani said of the insistence of the Security Council five plus Germany in pursuing a third round of sanctions.

"It is a stubborn approach with no logic, which can have its impacts on our relations with IAEA."

Larijani, who is running in Iranian parliamentary elections next month, told the FT: "Parliament is where you can control, ask questions, get information and make changes."

Stressing the importance of the coming elections and the parliament it would elect, he added: "The international situation is in transition and our country is important in the region. Iran can play a role."

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