The head of the United Nations atomic watchdog agency called on Iran today to enhance its cooperation and provide a complete, accurate declaration of all its nuclear activities to clear up questions arising from its failure, as a signatory to the treaty foreswearing nuclear weapons, to disclose certain material and activities.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei also said the situation in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which has been reported to have said it would develop nuclear weapons, continued to pose a "serious and immediate" challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
"Much urgent and essential work still remains before the agency can draw conclusions on the programme," Mr. ElBaradei told the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna of Iran's nuclear programme, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes of producing energy.
He noted that Iran, which has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), had shown increased cooperation in providing information and allowing access to its facilities, and had expressed a readiness to enter into negotiations on concluding an additional protocol allowing enhanced inspections with unannounced on-the-spot visits.
"However, information and access were in some instances slow in coming, piecemeal and reactive, and at times the information provided has been inconsistent with that given previously," he said of the recent visit by IAEA experts to Iran.
"I would strongly urge Iran, in the coming weeks, to show proactive and accelerated cooperation, and to demonstrate full transparency by providing the Agency with a complete and accurate declaration of all its nuclear activities. It is essential that all outstanding issues - particularly those involving high enriched uranium - be brought to closure as soon as possible, to enable the Agency to come to a definitive conclusion," he added.
Mr. ElBaradei said it was now clear that, beginning in the mid-1980s, Iran embarked on an extensive fuel cycle research and development programme and he called on Tehran to provide a complete list of all imported equipment and components stated to have been contaminated with high enriched uranium particles, and identify the origin and date of receipt, including information about where it has been used or stored.
Iran should also address the IAEA's conclusion that process testing of gas centrifuges must have been conducted in order for it to develop its enrichment technology to its current extent and provide complete information regarding the conduct of uranium conversion experiments.
He added that until a new protocol was brought into force, he hoped Iran would allow the IAEA prompt access to all sites and locations as well as allowing environmental samples to be taken as needed.
On the DPRK, Mr. ElBaradei said that since its withdrawal from the NPT at the beginning of the year the IAEA had not performed any verification activities and could not therefore provide "any level of assurance about the non-diversion of nuclear material."