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Iran answers UN agency questions on plutonium programme, says document

Iran answers UN agency questions on plutonium programme, says document

Iran has addressed the questions of the United Nations nuclear watchdog about its past plutonium programme and both parties now consider that matter resolved, according to a statement posted on the UN agency’s website.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) yesterday published on its website the text of a joint work plan on how to resolve outstanding issues between the agency and Iran after a request to do so from Tehran.

That text states that Iran provided clarifications to the IAEA to help explain all remaining questions it had about its plutonium programme, and that the agency agreed on 20 August that the matter has been resolved.

The text added that the two parties had also been cooperating in preparing the safeguards approach for the fuel enrichment plant at Natanz, with draft texts on the approach circulated and further talks scheduled next month.

Last week IAEA experts were in Iran for two days of talks with Government officials about the country’s past nuclear programme and to clarify safeguards implementation issues. This followed negotiations in both Vienna and Tehran in July.

Iran’s nuclear programme has been a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that it had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Last December, the Security Council adopted a resolution banning trade with Iran in all items, materials, equipment, goods and technology which could contribute to the country's enrichment-related, reprocessing or heavy water-related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems. It tightened the measures in March, banning arms sales and expanding the freeze on assets.