Iranian FM to seek European support over nuclear program
TEHRAN (AFP) May 02, 2004
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi will meet European leaders this week ahead of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting to review Tehran's nuclear program, a spokesman said Sunday.

Kharazi will hold talks with Europenan Commission President Romano Prodi and European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana from Monday before heading to Germany and Denmark later in the week, spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said.

He said the minister wanted to "talk about Iran's peaceful nuclear program and the situation in the region".

"He will also talk about Iran's cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and our agreement with the Europeans, and the region's developments, especially Iraq."

Kharazi met Belgian, Italian, Irish, British and French officials in Europe almost two weeks ago, seeking their support ahead of a June meeting of the IAEA board of governors to discuss Tehran's use of nuclear technology.

In October Iran gave the IAEA what it said was a complete declaration of its nuclear activities but the dossier was later found to have significant omissions, including its acquisition of designs for sophisticated centrifuges that can produce weapons-grade uranium.

The IAEA board of governors passed a resolution in March that condemned Iran for failing to report crucial technologies such as the advanced centrifuge designs.

IAEA chief Mohammad ElBaradei returned to Vienna three weeks ago from Tehran, where he had hammered out an agreement for Iran to adhere to a timetable to answer outstanding questions about its nuclear activities.

The United States claims Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons and is seeking a tougher stance against Tehran.

But under a deal struck last year, Britain, France and Germany offered to provide peaceful nuclear assistance to Iran if the IAEA cleared the country of running a secret weapons programme.