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IAEA, Annan concerned about Iran's nuke stance

The Director General of the Vienna-based Agency Mohamed ElBaradei expressed "serious concern" about Iran's decision.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2006 14:02 IST

Casting doubts on Iran's nuclear ambitions, UN Secretary-General and the head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency have expressed concern over its removal of IAEA seals that block the use of equipment and material related to uranium enrichment.

The Director General of the Vienna-based Agency Mohamed ElBaradei expressed "serious concern" about Iran's decision to unravel the suspension of enrichment-related activities requested by the IAEA Board of Governors before the Agency has clarified the nature of Tehran's nuclear programme.

He recalled that although the Agency has been investigating Iran's nuclear programme for three years, a number of important issues remain unresolved due to the "less than full and prompt transparency on the part of Iran."

Maintaining the suspension, resuming the dialogue with all concerned parties, and providing the necessary cooperation and transparency to the IAEA are conditions for a comprehensive and equitable solution that ensures Iran's right to peaceful nuclear activities while assuring the international community of the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme, ElBaradei said.

In New York, a spokesman for the Secretary-General said Kofi Annan is "very concerned" by Iran's decision to resume nuclear research. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric noted that Annan has spoken frequently in recent days with ElBaradei, and the two remain in close touch.

Annan is mindful and appreciative of the efforts of France, Germany and the UK - the so-called EU-3 as well as Russia to find a diplomatic solution to this issue, Dujarric said.

First Published: Jan 12, 2006 14:02 IST