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World Powers Voice Fears About Iran's Enrichment Work

September 12, 2012

World powers at a meeting of the UN's nuclear watchdog have presented a draft resolution expressing “serious concern” about Iran’s expanded uranium-enrichment program.

The draft was presented jointly by Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States.

It urges Iran “to comply fully and without delay with all of its obligations under the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.”

That includes heeding Security Council demands for a suspension of all uranium-enrichment activities.

It also calls on Iran to implement an Additional Protocol to its agreement with the IAEA that would allow unfettered IAEA inspections of its nuclear sites.

The draft resolution comes after an IAEA report last month said Iran had doubled its enrichment capacity during the last three months. The report also said that, since May, Iran has increased by one-third its stock of uranium enriched to a level of 20 percent.

Uranium enriched to 20 percent is considered a short technical step away from enrichment to the 90 percent level needed to build nuclear weapons.

Iran is considered likely to try to counter the efforts to get the draft resolution approved on September 13 when all 35 IAEA board member countries vote. They could again offer to cooperate with the nuclear agency.

Tehran has said discussions are under way this week about the possibility of another meeting with IAEA officials.

However, the last meeting in Vienna in August did not lead to any breakthroughs.

On September 10, IAEA chief Yukia Amano said it was “frustrating” that the two sides had made no progress in talks since January.

"Despite the intensified dialogue between the agency and Iran since January 2012, no concrete results have been achieved so far," Amano said. "This is frustrating because, without Iran’s full engagement, we will not be able to start the process to resolve all outstanding issues, including those concerning possible military dimensions to its nuclear program."

The IAEA also is expected on September 13 to discuss how to respond to Iran’s continued refusal to grant inspectors immediate access to the Parchin military site.

Iran built facilities at the base in 2000 to contain the detonation of up to 70 kilograms of high explosives -- something the IAEA has called “relevant to the development of an explosive device.”

The IAEA has obtained information in recent months that indicates Iran has been busy cleaning up the suspected site, including tearing down some buildings and removing soil.

Iran said earlier this month that it first wants to see Western intelligence reports “which contain the accusations and claims” before allowing IAEA inspections. Tehran also has said the IAEA is not authorized to inspect the Parchin complex because it is not registered as a nuclear site.

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/questions-to-be-raised- about-irans-uranium-enrichment-work/24705633.html

Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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