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. Europeans want Iran to allay by November suspicions about nuclear program
VIENNA (AFP) Sep 11, 2004
Britain, France and Germany are ready to set a November deadline for Iran to ally suspicions it is secretly making nuclear weapons, in a UN draft resolution that brings the three countries closer to the US hard line, diplomats said Saturday.

But the resolution does not oblige the UN watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency to take any specific action, falling short of US demands for a so-called "trigger mechanism" that would oblige the IAEA to take Iran before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions if certain conditions were not met, a diplomat familiar with the text told AFP.

The draft resolution for an IAEA board of governor's meeting that starts Monday in Vienna calls on IAEA director general Mohamed ElBaradei to file an overall report before the next board meeting in November on his investigation that began in February 2003 into an Iranian program which the United States claims hides the development of nuclear weapons.

The board would then in November "decide on the measures to take," a diplomat close to the IAEA told AFP.

The resolution is "the expression of the strong desire to reach a conclusion in November," he said.

The three European countries had previously resisted setting any time limit on their policy of constructive engagement to get Iran to cooperate in the investigation.

But they worked towards a compromise in meetings in Geneva this week with US Under Secretary of State John Bolton. It was not clear if the United States was happy with the draft and how much it would still be revised once the meeting starts in Vienna.

The draft resolution calls on Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment related activities, diplomats said.

This does fit the US demand for Iran to suspend the full nuclear fuel cycle, including a first stage of converting uranium yellowcake into a gas that is the feed for enriching uranium, a non-American diplomat said.

Iran has said it is ready to convert 37 tons of yellowcake into uranium hexafluoride gas, an amount that could result in enough highly enriched uranium to make one to several atomic bombs.

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