UNITED NATIONS – Iran is prepared to allow more severe inspections of its nuclear activities because it has "nothing to hide," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi (search) said Monday.
"But we want to make sure that additional protocol is going to solve the problems and it is going to be enough," Kharrazi said.
The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (search) demands Iran agree by Oct. 31 to allow unfettered inspections and stop all uranium (search) enrichment. The United States, Europe and Russia have hiked up pressure on Tehran to meet the deadline.
Iran has insisted it will not stop uranium enrichment and that it has a right to a peaceful nuclear program. Iran acknowledged Monday that traces of highly enriched uranium have been found at a second site in the country, but insisted the source was contaminated equipment purchased from another country.
Kharrazi spoke to reporters after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov two days after Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed Iran's nuclear program with President Bush at his retreat in Camp David.
Putin gave no indication he was willing to pull back from a $800 million deal to build a power plant in southern Iran. Bush has pressed Putin for two years to abandon the project.
The Iranian minister said his country had been cooperating with the Russians on the power plant and "they're going to continue this cooperation with us."
Iran maintains that under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty it is allowed to develop a peaceful nuclear power program.
"We have always stressed that we don't have any program to produce a nuclear weapons and all our activities are legal in the framework of our commitment to the NPT and our rights based on NPT and under the safeguard of IAEA," Kharrazi said.
"Therefore we will continue our cooperation with the IAEA to make sure that everything" is legal, he said.
"Everyone talks about signing additional protocol, and in principle, we don't have any problem to have more severe inspections because we don't have anything to hide," Kharrazi said.