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Annan urges Iran to fulfill obligation to peaceful nuclear power
7/4/2006 15:06

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan yesterday urged Iran to be transparent about its nuclear program, saying Iran must fulfill its obligations to the international community by giving security guarantees.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Madrid, Annan said: "Of course Iran has the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, but of course it must also comply with all its obligations under the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty."
"The simple and truthful solution would be to reassure the international community, give them that confidence, that its purpose is peaceful," he said.
Annan said that no nation wanted to deprive Iran of peacefully using nuclear energy since it has said it has no intention to develop nuclear weapons. The most important thing, he added, was for both sides to be sitting at the negotiating table.
Zapatero said the solution depended on Iran "bringing guarantees to the international community, and the community establishing controls that are acceptable to Iran."
"The situation can only have one solution: reaching an agreement with Iran," said Zapatero. Iran must respect international norms, while the international community should find a solution that did not disturb international order.
At a separate press conference in Madrid on the same day, Mohamed El Baradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), urged Iran to cooperate with the IAEA's inspectors, so that there would be time for diplomatic solutions. He said there was no evidence that nuclear material was being diverted to weapons-making.
After meeting with Annan on Thursday, Zapatero announced an increase of its United Nations contributions by 100 million euros (about US$120 million), or between 50 percent and 100 percent depending on the program.
Zapatero said the voluntary increase in contributions would do something to redress Spain's contributions position, which was "very backward" considering that it was the world's eighth largest economy.
Also during the visit to Spain, Annan urged Madrid to use as best as possible the ceasefire declared by the Basque separatist group ETA to reach a permanent peace.
Annan expressed his belief that the ceasefire declared on March 22 would "bring a new era of peace to the people of Spain who have lived with violence for far too long".
Zapatero said he hoped that peace would be achieved, but insisted that caution and prudence were still necessary.
Annan arrived in Spain on Thursday ahead of Friday and Saturday meetings with UN heads of department.