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Iran Warns UN Nuclear Watchdog Ahead Of Key Meeting

Larijani said that if the IAEA "bases its work on legal and technical considerations", the next report by agency director Mohamed ElBaradei "will be positive" for Tehran.

Tehran (AFP) Nov 15, 2005
Iran's top nuclear negotiator issued a blunt warning to the UN atomic watchdog on Tuesday, saying more pressure on the Tehran over its controversial nuclear activities would have "consequences".

The International Atomic Energy Agency is to meet from November 24, with Iran running the risk of being sent to the UN Security Council amid suspicions it is using a nuclear energy drive as a cover for weapons development.

But Larijani, quoted by the ISNA news agency, said a Security Council referral "would have consequences on Iran's cooperation, and would not be good for Iran's cooperation".

"If they put too much pressure on Iran, Iran will be forced to work differently," he said in the latest of a string of warnings to the IAEA and its 35-nation board of governors.

Iran, which maintains it only wants to make electricity, has already threatened that if its case is sent to New York it would limit access to IAEA inspectors and abandon a freeze on uranium enrichment.

Enrichment is a process used to make reactor fuel, but it can also be diverted to make the core of a nuclear bomb.

Larijani also said that if the IAEA "bases its work on legal and technical considerations", the next report by agency director Mohamed ElBaradei "will be positive" for Tehran.

Iran triggered the latest standoff in August when it effectively broke off negotiations with Britain, France and Germany on a package of incentives for restraining its nuclear plans and resumed uranium conversion activities it had suspended a year ago.

Conversion is a precursor to enrichment, and the IAEA board has called on Iran to return to a full freeze. Iran says it is willing to negotiate, but not suspend all of its activities.

An IAEA resolution passed on September 24 also stated that Tehran was in "non-compliance" with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

A finding of non-compliance is an automatic trigger for taking the matter to the Security Council, which can impose sanctions, but could be difficult to implement because it has no support from Russia or China, which both have veto power on the Council.

Iran says the demand to freeze nuclear works goes beyond the framework of the NPT, which permits such work if for peaceful purposes.

Larijani also responded to reports that US intelligence officials have shown IAEA members a stolen Iranian laptop computer containing nuclear weapons designs.

"This is a systematic procedure: every time, before an agency meeting, they try to blow up a crisis," he told ISNA.

related report
Moscow Reiterates Opposition To Iran UN Referral Moscow (AFP) Nov 15 - Moscow remains opposed to Tehran being referred to the UN Security Council over its controversial nuclear programme ahead of a key meeting later this month, a top Russian official said Tuesday.

"The search for a solution needs to be found in the course and in the framework of the IAEA," Interfax news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak as saying ahead of the International Atomic Energy Agency's meeting on November 24.

Washington believes Iran's nuclear programme is a cover for manufacturing nuclear weapons, while Tehran has insisted on its right to atomic energy technology with peaceful intentions.

"There are a whole series of questions that remain but Iran has done a lot in recent years to make its nuclear programme transparent," Kislyak said.

Earlier this week, the Iranian foreign ministry confirmed Tehran's refusal to allow one of the most controversial aspects of its nuclear programme -- uranium enrichment -- to be carried out on Russian territory.

Russia, which is completing Iran's first nuclear reactor at Bushehr, had put forward the uranium enrichment compromise proposal as a way of helping defuse the diplomatic impasse over Iran.

In September, Russia abstained from a vote by the IAEA's board of governors that found Iran in non-compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and opened the door for referral to the UN Security Council.

Russia has a right of veto in the Security Council as a permanent member.

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Analysis: N.Korea Unveils Disarmament Plan
Seoul (UPI) Nov 14, 2005
North Korea recently proposed a five-step plan to gradually dismantle its nuclear weapons program, South Korea's chief security official said Monday.







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