Iran has given the IAEA details on its nuclear enrichment equipment
VIENNA (AFP) Nov 05, 2003
Iran has given the UN nuclear watchdog drawings of the components used to make centrifuges which the United States claims were used to make weapons-grade uranium, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA said Wednesday.

Ali Akbar Salehi told AFP this was part of Iran's continuing cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to disprove allegations it is trying to secretly develop nuclear weapons.

Tehran faces the possibility the IAEA will judge it at a meeting in Vienna November 20 to be in non-compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and send the issue to the UN Security Council, which could then impose sanctions.

The main dispute is over traces of highly enriched uranium IAEA inspectors found at two sites in Iran.

The United States claims that Iran was using centrifuges to make highly enriched uranium that could be used to make the bomb but the Iranians claim the particles came from contamination from equipment they bought aboard.

Salehi said IAEA inspectors have been able to see this equipment. He said Iran had recently "revealed to the inspectors the components (used to make the centrifuges) and the original drawings for these components."

The IAEA wants to know where the equipment came from but Salehi said Iran could not supply this information since it does not know, as the parts were bought on the black market when Tehran had to be "discreet" as it was developing its nuclear program in the face of international sanctions.

Salehi said Iran would honor its promise to agree to sign an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to allow wider, unannounced IAEA inspections.

He said a letter pledging agreement would be handed over to the IAEA before the agency's board of governors meets in Vienna on November 20.

IAEA officials had said the letter would be coming this week but Salehi said it would not be so soon.

He also said Iranian national security council chief Hasan Rohani would be coming to Europe soon but did not say if he would be in Vienna to meet with IAEA officials ahead of the board meeting.

IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Monday that the agency is ready in a report it is writing to say that Iran has failed to honor some international nuclear safeguards, his spokesman Mark Gwozdecky said.

"We reported breaches in the past and there will be new ones in this upcoming report," ElBaradei said.

It was the first confirmation by the IAEA that new Iranian information, filed ahead of an October 31 deadline for Iran to prove it is not developing nuclear weapons, showed Iranian failures in honoring nuclear safeguards agreements.

A Western diplomat close to the IAEA said the Iranians may be "cooperating until (the IAEA meeting) November 20 in order to avoid a non-compliance ruling" and when they succeed in this, "then they will break all the rules again.