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Iran has a 'lot of explaining to do' on nuclear issue: Rice

by Staff Writers
Stockholm (AFP) May 28, 2008
Iran must deliver detailed answers following the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on its disputed nuclear programme, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday.

"The Iranians have a lot of explaining to do about the IAEA report, which essentially sees them as not cooperating on some very important, dark questions that the international community has about their programmes," Rice told reporters.

Travelling to a conference on Iraq outside Stockholm, Rice was commenting on "serious concern" within the IAEA that Iran was hiding information about alleged studies into making nuclear warheads and defying United Nations demands to suspend uranium enrichment.

Rice said the United States is going to "continue along the two tracks" of offering Tehran incentives if it halts uranium enrichment and pushing for toughened sanctions if it fails to do so.

The United States, France, Britain, Russia and China -- which make up the five permament veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council -- have drafted a "refreshed" package of incentives that they hope to offer Iran.

The State Department said the plan to deliver the package has not been affected by the IAEA report on Monday.

"We have a kind of agreement among the six that we're going to talk to the Iranians first through (European Union foreign policy chief) Javier Solana and we're waiting for that to be set up," Rice said.

"But the major question on my mind today is how the Iranians are going to answer the quite serious charges of non-cooperation," Rice said.

The UN Security Council has imposed three rounds of gradually tougher sanctions on Iran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment work.

Washington and its allies fear the work could be used to build an atomic bomb, while Tehran insists its nuclear programme is for the production of electricity.

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US: Iran must not 'stall' on nuclear issue
Washington (AFP) May 28, 2008
The United States warned Wednesday that it would not let Iran "stall" the world with nuclear negotiations while Tehran pursues what the West fears is an atomic weapons quest.

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