Iran on Friday vowed to continue the cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) although the UN nuclear watchdog's latest report criticized Tehran for failing to keep suspension of its sensitive nuclear activities.
"Iran will continue to cooperate with the agency, even though its report launched some criticisms on us which have no legitimate or technical bases," Ali Larijani, chief nuclear negotiator and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, was quoted by state television as saying.
The IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei has been scheduled to present a comprehensive report on Tehran's nuclear program to the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors on Saturday.
However, the report was in advance given to representatives of the member states of IAEA board late Friday and was soon unveiled by media in Vienna, home to the headquarters of the IAEA.
The report criticized Iran for failing to comply with the IAEA demand that Tehran resume suspension of uranium conversion, called for full transparency on its nuclear issue and voiced regret about Iran's disallowance of the IAEA demand to inspect some of its military sites suspected to deal with sensitive nuclear program.
Larijani pointed out that the IAEA report contained both positive and negative factors.
"They (negative points) are results of the pressure of the United States...it is not important, and we will negotiate on to turn such issues resolvable," he said.
The negotiator also reiterated that Iran would never give up its legitimate rights to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes enshrined in the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Earlier, Iran's semi-official Mehr agency quoted a Vienna-based diplomat as reporting that the United States and Britain had been pressing Elbaradei to link Iran to a nuclear smuggling network.
The diplomat also said that the United States has clearly asked ElBaradei to say that Iran has failed to adequately inform the IAEA about its nuclear activities for 18 years.
"It seems ElBaradei will report, under the US pressure, that Iran did not heed the request by the IAEA board," he added.
Iran restarted uranium conversion plant in Isfahan on Aug. 8 after it turned down the European Union offer of incentives in exchange for a permanent halt to all uranium enrichment activities which the United States suspects could be used to make atomic bombs.
Iran, which denied the charge and said its nuclear program is aimed at generation of electricity, suspended all enrichment related activities under an agreement in November 2004 with the EU trio of Britain, France and Germany as confidence measure while negotiations last.
The IAEA Board of Governors held an emergency meeting at the request of the EU and adopted a resolution on Aug. 11, urging Tehran to re-establish full suspension of all enrichment-related activities.
The resolution also asked ElBaradei to present a comprehensive report on Iran's implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and the resolution itself by Sept. 3.
Tehran rejected the resolution as "politically motivated", saying that it will never suspend uranium conversion work over again and is prepared to negotiate with the EU on the resumption of uranium enrichment.
The EU and the United States have warned that Iran's nuclear case could be referred to the UN Security Council if it refused to resume the suspension.
Iran has called for more member states in the IAEA board to join the negotiations to help break the deadlock over its nuclear ambitions.
Larijani said on Aug. 27 that Iran's negotiating partners "need not be limited to the three European countries of Britain, Germany and France" since other countries could also play a favorable role in Iran's nuclear issue.