(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) assured late Sunday that Iraq's ratification of the Additional Protocol is a "great achievement", hoping that it would be recognized as a best practice in the region.
IAEA statement added that Iraq sends a clear message to the region and the world for having brought the Additional Protocol into force.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano met Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari in Baghdad, to extend his congratulations on Iraq's ratification of the Additional Protocol. He also assured IAEA's on-going support for the nation's peaceful use of nuclear technologies, noting, "We have also discussed ways to strengthen our activities in Iraq in activities like cancer control and others." Prime Minister al-Maliki expressed his hope that Iraq's decision may serve to demonstrate throughout the region that the implementation of the Additional Protocol can increase mutual trust and regional security.
Minister Zebari reiterated the nation's firm resolve to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and noted that Iraq was already benefiting from the technical cooperation extended by the IAEA to support Iraq's development.
On 23 October 2012, the Director General was notified via an official letter from Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari that the Additional Protocol had entered into force.
With Iraq's ratification, the number of States with an Additional Protocol in force has now reached 119.
IAEA Director General said talks with Iran have intensified this year, adding that it had "credible information that Iran had carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device." But Amano said efforts to persuade Iran to give more information on its nuclear program had produced "no concrete results."
The Additional Protocol is a legal document granting the IAEA complementary inspection authority to that provided in underlying safeguards agreements. A principal aim is to enable the IAEA inspectorate to provide assurance about both declared and possible undeclared activities. Under the Protocol, the IAEA is granted expanded rights of access to information and sites.