Iran Nuclear NewsIndonesia urges Iran to step up U.N. nuke contacts

Indonesia urges Iran to step up U.N. nuke contacts


Reuters: Indonesia called on Iran on Tuesday to increase its cooperation with a U.N. nuclear watchdog to avoid further confrontation over its atomic programme. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Indonesia called on Iran on Tuesday to increase its cooperation with a U.N. nuclear watchdog to avoid further confrontation over its atomic programme.

Indonesia, a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, abstained in a vote last week to introduce a third sanctions resolution against Iran.

The United States is spearheading a drive at the United Nations to isolate Tehran because of its nuclear programme, which Washington says it aimed at developing atomic weapons. Iran says the programme is solely for peaceful energy needs.

“We believe that the cooperation of Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency should be strengthened … to avoid bringing Iran’s nuclear programme into the political field,” visiting Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told reporters through an interpreter.

“Indonesia’s decision (to abstain from voting) was based on Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA,” Yudhoyono said after holding talks with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad thanked Indonesia for its vote and said it would help improve relations with Tehran.

“This was a just position based on legal principles, which will hopefully help reform the structure of international (bodies) … and will lead to a deepening of bilateral relations, Ahmadinejad said.

Iran signed an agreement on Tuesday on setting up a planned 300,000 barrels per day oil refinery joint venture in Indonesia, together with a Malaysian partner, Iranian officials said.

Iran, reacting to U.N. and U.S. sanctions, is seeking alternative commercial partners in energy-hungry Asia.

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