Iran wants UN nuclear agency probe extended to September
VIENNA (AFP) Jun 17, 2004
Iran wants the UN atomic agency's investigation of its nuclear program to be extended until September, instead of ending in June as it previously demanded, a senior Iranian official told AFP Thursday.

"We welcome close cooperation with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to bring this issue to a closure in September," said Iranian delegation chief Seyed Hossein Mussavian, a top member of Iran Supreme National Security Council.

Diplomats at the IAEA were hoping to submit Wednesday to the IAEA 35-nation board of governors meeting in Vienna a draft resolution on the agency's investigation into US charges Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami warned Wednesday that Tehran could back away from key commitments if the IAEA took a hardline stand over its nuclear programme, which Tehran says is solely for generating electric power.

Mussavian said Iran was ready to work closely with the IAEA to resolve the two remaining issues of contamination of equipment by highly enriched uranium that could be bomb-grade and Iran's work with advanced P-2 centrifuges that can make bomb-grade uranium.

"If we need two-months more, we are ready to take this time to finalize," Mussavian said.