UN atomic watchdog renews call to Iran for transparency on nuclear activities

18 March 2004

The United Nations atomic watchdog agency today emphasized the need for transparency and proactive cooperation by Iran to resolve outstanding questions over its nuclear activities following omissions in information Tehran provided in accordance with treaties seeking to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

In a report on a meeting yesterday in Washington between the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, and United States President George W. Bush on issues of nuclear non-proliferation, an agency news release highlighted its chief's comments to reporters on Iran.

"My answer is that the jury is still out," Mr. ElBaradei said in his briefing on the status of Iran's nuclear programme. "We would like to continue to work hard on inspecting Iran before we come to a conclusion. We expect full cooperation, full transparency by Iran, if Iran wants to prove that its programme is for peaceful purposes."

He has previously said the IAEA has no proof that Iran's activities are linked to a nuclear weapons programme and Tehran has consistently denied any such intention.

The Agency's Board of Governors meeting in Vienna last week adopted a resolution voicing "serious concern" over Iran's omissions in its reports, specifically mentioning a more advanced centrifuge design than previously declared as well as two mass spectrometers used in a laser enrichment programme.

It called on Iran to resolve these and all other outstanding issues, while Mr. ElBaradei was asked to report on the matter before the end of May so that the Board may consider his findings at its June session.

 

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