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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Iran Should Cooperate with IAEA China Says

30 May 2006

China has called on Iran to resume full cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The appeal comes two days before the five U.N. Security Council permanent members and Germany meet in Vienna to try to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear programs.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao on Tuesday said Tehran should cooperate with the U.N.'s nuclear agency, the IAEA, to regain the trust of the international community.

"As a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, Iran enjoys the rights of peaceful use of nuclear energy. But, it should also implement its corresponding obligations and commitments. It is imperative to resume full cooperation with the IAEA to restore the international community's confidence in Iran."

Liu also said China hopes a plan offered by France, Britain, and Germany to resolve the dispute will take into account Iran's requirements for peaceful nuclear energy as well as the international community's concerns about nuclear proliferation.

The plan offers a package of incentives if Iran gives up uranium enrichment activities, and punishment if it refuses.

The foreign ministers of the five permanent U.N. Security Council members and Germany meet Thursday in Vienna to discuss the plan.

Last month Tehran said it had for the first time successfully enriched uranium, a process that can produce material for nuclear weapons.

Tehran says its nuclear research is for peaceful energy purposes, but the United States and other countries say Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons.

The U.N. Security Council told Iran to suspend uranium enrichment efforts by the end of April, a deadline Tehran ignored. Iran has also refused to allow IAEA inspectors access to all requested nuclear sites.

The U.S. has pushed for sanctions if Tehran refuses to cooperate. However, Russia and China say the conflict should be resolved through negotiation.

Also Tuesday, the Non-Aligned Movement backed Iran over the nuclear standoff. At the end of a two-day meeting in Malaysia, the 116-member bloc affirmed the right of all nations to peaceful nuclear technology and said any attack against peaceful facilities would be a violation of international law.

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