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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran's nuclear issue can only be resolved through talks - IAEA

RIA Novosti

05/03/2007 15:38 VIENNA/TEHRAN, March 5 (RIA Novosti) - The controversy over Iran's nuclear program can only be resolved through diplomatic means, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Monday.

Iran has been at the center of international concerns since January 2006 over its nuclear program, which some countries, particularly the United States, suspect is geared toward nuclear weapons development. Tehran has consistently denied the claims, saying it needs nuclear power for civilian purposes.

Mohamed ElBaradei said he was convinced that the Iranian nuclear issue and other similar problems could only be resolved through negotiations on a universal and long-term basis.

Earlier Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Iran demands that its nuclear dossier be considered within the legal norms of the IAEA, and not at the UN Security Council.

Mottaki reiterated that it was possible to resolve the issue only through negotiations. "We can achieve accord only by means of constructive negotiations, which will include all [interested] parties," he said.

The IAEA reported February 23 that Iran had ignored a UN Security Council demand to halt its uranium enrichment program and was seeking to expand it.

In response to Iran's unwillingness to give up its nuclear ambitions, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1737 last December, which provided for sanctions against Iran banning activities involving uranium enrichment, chemical reprocessing, heavy water-based projects, and the production of nuclear weapons delivery systems.

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