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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iranian official meets UN atomic watchdog chief on country's nuclear plans

26 August 2005 The head of the United Nations agency entrusted with curbing the spread of nuclear weapons today had a “constructive” meeting with a senior Iranian official on ways to resolve issues over the country’s nuclear programme.

The talks between International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei and the Secretary of Iran´s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani, at IAEA headquarters in Vienna came two weeks after the agency’s Board of Governors called on Iran to reverse its decision to resume uranium conversion activities.

“Dr. ElBaradei said that the two-hour meeting was constructive and that Mr. Larijani expressed his commitment to cooperating closely with the IAEA to resolve outstanding issues about its nuclear programme,” the agency said in a news release.

Iran voluntarily suspended operations last year of all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities during negotiations with European countries on its nuclear programme, which it insists is for peaceful energy production but which some countries, including the United States, say is part of an effort to produce nuclear weapons.

But at the beginning of the month it began resuming activities at the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) in Isfahan. Enriched uranium can be used for peaceful purposes such as generating energy or for making nuclear weapons.

Iran's nuclear programme has been a matter of concern since 2003, when the IAEA determined that the country had for almost two decades concealed its nuclear activities in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

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