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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN nuclear watchdog's Board of Governors to meet on Iran on Tuesday

5 August 2005 The Board of Governors of the United Nations agency entrusted with curbing the spread of nuclear weapons will meet on Tuesday at the request of European countries to discuss latest developments following Iran's announcement that it will resume activities at a uranium conversion plant, it was announced today.

Enriched uranium can be used for peaceful purposes such as generating energy or for making nuclear weapons.

The meeting of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was requested by France, Germany and the United Kingdom to discuss implementation of IAEA Safeguards in Iran and related Board resolutions, the agency said in a news release.

The so-called European Three have been seeking a diplomatic solution to issues arising from the disclosure two years ago that Iran had for almost two decades concealed its nuclear activities in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Several countries, including the United States, insist that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons but Iran denies this, insisting its programme is purely for energy production, and last year it suspended all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities as a goodwill gesture while the European Three negotiated a solution.

Earlier this week, the three said a resumption of activities would breach agreements Iran had reached with them as well as the IAEA Board's resolution last November calling for a continued moratorium and would end their negotiations.

The Board, as part of its mandate to prevent the proliferation nuclear weapons, can refer the matter to the UN Security Council, which in turn could impose political and economic sanctions.

On Monday the IAEA said that to implement effective NPT safeguards it would need to install additional surveillance equipment at the plant in Isfahan where the resumption is planned, and would not be able to do so until some time next week.

It called on Iran to refrain from taking any action at the plant, such as removing IAEA seals and from moving any nuclear material, until such time as the equipment is installed.

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