Iran resumes enrichment as IAEA prepares for meeting

2 March 2006

Nuclear enrichment is believed to have recommenced at the Natanz facility in Iran, according to report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The report comes ahead of a 6 March meeting between the IAEA board of governors, the so-called EU-3 of France, Germany and the UK, the representative of the EU and Iran, a meeting which could ultimately lead to punitive measures against the Islamic republic by the UN Security Council.

Iran is though to have begun using a 10-centrifuge enrichment cascade and is testing a 20-centrifuge version, a move which has prompted widespread condemnation despite Tehran’s insistence that its motives are peaceful.

The IAEA is understood to have reported that it is not in a position to conclude that there are “no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran.”

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said of the forthcoming meeting: "I call on Iran to demonstrate full transparency toward the IAEA to resolve important outstanding issues related to its nuclear programme. I also call on Iran to take all the necessary confidence building measures required to assure the international community of the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme," he said.

IAEA inspectors confirmed on 10 January that Iran had started to remove seals on enrichment-related equipment and material at Natanz and on 4 February, the Board adopted a resolution requesting the IAEA Director General report to the UN Security Council all IAEA reports and resolutions, as adopted, relating to the implementation of safeguards in Iran.


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