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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN atomic watchdog hosts international talks on Iran's nuclear fuel

19 October 2009 – Representatives from France, Iran, Russia and the United States are gathering at the Vienna headquarters of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to discuss how to provide fuel for a nuclear research facility in Iran.

The Research Reactor, located in the capital, Tehran, produces medical radioisotopes for therapeutic and diagnostic procedures.

Today’s talks follow discussions on 1 October between Iranian officials and representatives from China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the US.

The IAEA was selected as the venue for the meetings because Iran has requested the body to facilitate talks with potential nuclear fuel suppliers.

Earlier this month, it was announced after talks between IAEA Director Mohamed ElBaradei and Iranian authorities that the agency’s inspectors will visit a newly disclosed uranium enrichment facility under construction in Qom, south-west of the capital.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that the facility violates Security Council resolutions because of the delay in its disclosure.

During his recent talks in New York with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr. Ban repeated his call for the country to implement Security Council resolutions and cooperate with the IAEA on resolving outstanding concerns regarding its nuclear programme.

Iran has stated that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, but some other countries contend it is driven by military ambitions. The issue has been of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that the country had concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

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