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. Iran says IAEA report positive step
TEHRAN (AFP) Sep 01, 2004
Iran said the UN nuclear watchdog's report Wednesday on Tehran's atomic energy program was a positive step toward clearing up the country's file and demonstrating the peaceful character of the program.

"This report confirms our expectations," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said, referring to an assessment delivered in Vienna by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has had good cooperation with this agency and this cooperation will continue in the future. Iran is determined to respect its commitments" under the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

"The more time has passed, the clearer it has become that our nuclear programme and activities are peaceful and do not contravene international rules.

"Some marginal and minor problems remain. We hope that they will be settled in the future."

Assefi refused to say whether his country would resume large-scale production of the feed material for enriching uranium, a process that can lead to making nuclear weapons, as reported by the IAEA.

That news came in the IAEA report ahead of a meeting of the agency in Vienna later this month to review the agency's investigation into US charges that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons.

In what appeared to be a boost for Iran, the report said it was "plausible" that Tehran was telling the truth in claiming uranium contamination found by IAEA inspectors had come from imported equipment and not because Iranian authorities were making material for an atomic bomb.

"It appears plausible" that contamination by highly enriched uranium at two sites in Iran "may not have resulted from the enrichment of uranium at those locations," the IAEA said in the confidential report obtained by AFP.

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