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Iran Threatens To End Nuclear Cooperation On Saturday

Mottaki said that any decision to involve the Security Council could affect the "Russian plan," under which Iran is being urged to agree to conduct any enrichment activities in Russia.
by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) Jan 31, 2006
Iran will cease cooperating with the UN nuclear watchdog if it refers the country's nuclear dossier to the Security Council, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tuesday.

"There is no difference between informing the Security Council and referring (the case) to it," Mottaki said.

"In either case, if the dossier is sent to the Security Council, Iran will cease voluntary cooperation (with the International Atomic Energy Agency) from Saturday February 4."

Motakki also reiterated Iran's insistence that it would carry on with its renewed nuclear research.

"We have told everyone with whom we have discussed this that there is no question of our re-suspending our nuclear research activities. That is irreversible. It must be stated that nuclear research is different than industrial production of combustible material."

The five permanent Security Council members agreed in London overnight to take Iran's case to New York after the country resumed sensitive nuclear fuel research work and deepened fears the clerical regime could acquire the atom bomb.

A referral is likely to come during an emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) 35-nation board of governors, which begins on Thursday. In a compromise with Russia, the powers agreed to put off UN action until at least March.

Mottaki said that any decision to involve the Security Council could affect the "Russian plan," under which Iran is being urged to agree to conduct any enrichment activities in Russia.

"I told the Russian foreign minister that going the way of the Security Council could endanger the 'Russian plan' itself.

"Neither the United States nor any other power can oblige other countries to accept just anything under threat," he added.

Source: Agence France-Presse

related report

Iran 'hands Over Guide' To Making Nuclear Bomb Parts
Vienna (AFP) Jan 31 - The Iranian government has handed over to the International Atomic Energy Agency a document whose only use would be in making nuclear weapons parts, the IAEA said in a confidential report obtained Tuesday by AFP.

The report, which comes ahead of an emergency IAEA meeting Thursday that is to refer Iran to the UN Security Council over its disputed nuclear program, indicates several areas where Tehran is suspected of doing atomic work that could be military related.

The update by IAEA director of safeguards Olli Heinonen also shows Iran refusing to give IAEA inspectors all the information or interviews they want despite having cooperated by allowing a visit to the former Lavizan military site.

A US diplomat said: "It's a strong report and it speaks for itself."

For instance, Iranian authorities refused to let the Vienna-based IAEA copy the document on weapons parts, only allowing the agency to place it under IAEA seal in Iran.

The 15-page document describes "the procedures for the reduction of UF6 (uranium hexafluoride gas) to metal in small quantities, and the casting of enriched and depleted uranium metal into hemispheres, related to the fabrication of nuclear weapons components," the report said.

Iran claims not to have used the information for weapons work as it says it was given the document without asking for it by an international nuclear smuggling network which offered it technology and parts in 1987 and the mid-1990's.

The report said the information on making uranium metal hemispheres, which would be the central "pits" of atomic bombs, "did not, however, include dimensions or other specifications for machined pieces for such components."

Heinonen's report said the IAEA still needed more information on Iran's contacts with the nuclear black market run by disgraced Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, including "the timing and purpose of certain trips" taken by Iranian nuclear officials in the mid-1990's.

The IAEA has also "shared with Iran" new information it has that Iran may have taken deliveries of sophisticated P-2 centrifuges, despite Tehran saying this is not true.

Centrifuges enrich uranium into what can be fuel for nuclear power reactors or atom bomb material. Iran claims that its nuclear program is a peaceful effort to generate electricity but the United States charges this is a cover for secret development of atomic weapons.

Diplomats told AFP that the IAEA has recently been given US intelligence on alleged P-2 deliveries as well as on alleged Iranian work in adapting missiles to carry payloads that could only be designed for nuclear weapons and on studies to build a uranium conversion site that might have military rather than civilian purposes.

Iran has cooperated in some areas, such as allowing Heinonen to visit last weeksites related to the former Lavizan military site in Tehran, sites where there is dual-use equipment that has both civilian and military applications, the report said.

But Iran "declined" to let Heinonen interview the head of the military Physics Research Center which was at Lavizan before it was razed by Iranian authorities in 2003 after suspicions were raised about it.

Iran said the center's head was in fact a professor at a technical university but a senior IAEA official said the professor "used the same telex numbers and communications as for the Physics Research Center" in acquiring sensitive equipment.

Meanhwile, Iran has told the IAEA that it has begun research relating to enriching uranium.

"Iran has started what it refers to as 'small-scale R&D'," the report said.

A senior official close to the IAEA said the research involves "quality control kind of things" as Iran prepares a pilot centrifuge plant to begin actual enrichment.

The work began after Iran removed seals on enrichment equipment and supplies on January 10, in defiance of an agreement with the European Union to suspend all nuclear fuel work.

The IAEA also said it can no longer fully monitor Iranian work since its seals were removed.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links

Annan: World Under Threat Of Nuclear Proliferation
London (AFP) Jan 31, 2006
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Tuesday that the world was under threat from a "cascade" of proliferation as Iran seemed set to be hauled before the Security Council over its nuclear programme.

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