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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran asked to wait for additional surveillance equipment

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Aug 2, IRNA
The UN nuclear watchdog Monday called on Iran o wait for the installation of additional surveillance equipment at the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility before resuming activities there.

The UN agency entrusted with curbing the spread of nuclear weapons called on Iran to continue negotiating with the European Union (EU) and not to take any action that could undermine agency's inspections following its decision to resume uranium conversion as of August 2.

"In order to implement effective safeguards, it will need to install additional surveillance equipment at the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) in Isfahan, where the resumption is planned, and will not be able to do so until some time next week," the United Nations Information Center (UNIC) quoted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as saying Monday.

"To ensure continuity of knowledge, it is essential that Iran refrain from removing the agency's seals and from moving any nuclear material at the UCF until such time as the surveillance equipment is installed and the agency has verified the material," the IAEA told Iran in reply to a Note Verbale announcing the resumption as of August 1, 2005.

The three EU countries, Britain, France and Germany, known as E3/EU, have been negotiating for months with Iran for a diplomatic solution. Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons, insisting its program is for energy generation, but several countries, including the United States, insist the oil-producing country is seeking such weapons.

"I call on Iran to continue the negotiation process with the E3/EU and not to take any action that might prejudice the process at this critical stage when the E3/EU are expected to deliver a package addressing security, political, economic and nuclear issues," IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said in a statement Monday.

"I also call on Iran not to take any unilateral action that could undermine the agency's inspection process at a time when the agency is making steady progress in resolving outstanding issues," he added.

Iran voluntarily suspended operations last year of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, and the IAEA said then that this confidence-building measure to be verified by the agency, was essential to addressing outstanding nuclear issues.

Enriched uranium can be used both for generating energy and making nuclear weapons.


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