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. Timeline of Iran nuclear stand-off
TEHRAN (AFP) Aug 08, 2005
Iran said Monday it resumed ultra-sensitive nuclear work at its Isfahan uranium conversion facility after rejecting an EU package of incentives to abandon its nuclear programme, in the latest development in a long-running dispute.

The following is a chronology:


-- 2002 --

Dec 12-13: Satellite photographs broadcast by US television stations reveal the existence of nuclear sites at Arak, southwest of Tehran, and Natanz in the centre of the country, which the US media claims could have a military use. Iran agrees to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection.

-- 2003 --

Feb 9: President Mohammed Khatami says uranium deposits have been discovered in Iran and Tehran is building two factories to convert the ore into nuclear power station fuel.

Feb 21: IAEA head Mohammed ElBaradei visits Iran to verify Tehran's insistence that its nuclear programme is peaceful, despite US claims it is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

June 19: The IAEA requests that Iran sign on to an additional protocol of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and allow unannounced inspections of its nuclear sites.

Aug 26: Tehran says it will allow unannounced inspections, but demands guarantees the inspectors will not divulge strategic military secrets.

A confidential UN report reveals Iran has developed two kinds of enriched uranium not needed for peaceful energy production.

Nov 10: An internal IAEA report states: "At the moment, there is no proof that Iran is creating nuclear weapons," a conclusion the United States dismisses.

Dec 18: Iran signs the additional NPT protocol allowing unannounced inspections of nuclear sites.

-- 2004 --

April 4: Iran denies having any secret nuclear sites, insisting experimental use of its uranium ore conversion plant in central Isfahan city does not violate any of its NPT obligations.

June 1: IAEA claims to have found new traces of enriched uranium that exceed the levels necessary for civilian energy production.

July 31: Iran admits to having resumed production of parts for centrifuges used for enriching uranium, but insists it has not resumed its enrichment activities.

Sept 1: An IAEA report says a number of Iran's claims concerning its nuclear development are "plausible" but expresses renewed concern over Iran's decision to resume large-scale production of the feed material for enrichment.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell says the IAEA report warrants Security Council action.

Sept 18: IAEA gives deadline of November 25 for Tehran to reveal all its nuclear activities.

Sept 21: Iran say it has resumed large-scale conversion of uranium ore.

Oct 31: The Iranian parliament passes bill approving resumption of enrichment activities.

Nov 14: Iran accepts complete suspension of uranium enrichment activities, including the precursor process of conversion, while further talks are held.

Nov 22: Suspension of enrichment takes effect, a move hailed by the IAEA, although Iran later says it will resume the activity in future and that it will "never renounce" its right to enrich uranium.

Dec 13: Talks open between Iran and EU.

-- 2005 --

Jan 13: IAEA inspectors visit the Parchin site southeast of Tehran.

Feb 27: Iran and Russia sign nuclear fuel accord that paves the way for the start-up of the Bushehr plant. Russia will fuel the reactor on condition that Iran sends back spent fuel.

Apr 30: Iran announces it could resume uranium conversion at its Isfahan plant.

May 11: The Europeans warn Iran against resuming an activity which "would end the process of negotiation".

May 19: Tehran warns that its decision is "irreversible".

May 25: Iran agrees to hold off on a final decision until after Europe submits "detailed proposals" at the end of July, beginning of August.

Aug 1: Iran announces it will formally notify the IAEA of its decision to resume uranium conversion.

Aug 3: Ultra-nationalist President Mahmood Ahmadinejad takes office in Iran as Tehran threatens resume nuclear work within days.

Aug 5: Tehran rejects an EU offer of a broad package of incentives aimed at ending the long-running nuclear standoff.

Aug 8: Iran says it has resumed ultra-sensitive nuclear fuel work at its Isfahan uranium conversion plant.

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