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ElBaradei: It is not possible to set a deadline for Iran's nuclear activities

Vienna, June 14, IRNA -- Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said in Vienna on Monday that Iran's nuclear activities is a technical issue and it is not possible to draw a deadline for it.

Speaking to reporters after the opening session of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, he said Iran's issue is not a political one and in case the country exercises full and speedy cooperation with IAEA's inspectors, the dossier would be closed.

Representatives from 35 countries at the IAEA's Board of Governors started to review Iran's nuclear activities in Vienna on Monday.

IAEA's Board of Governors session will take three-days to review the issue.

"We have made constant progress in our investigations into Iran's nuclear activities, ElBaradei said adding that the remaining point is that whether the country has provided us with full information on enrichment activities."

Contamination of some equipment as well as advanced P-2 centrifuges are considered as the two remaining points with regards to Iran's nuclear activities, he said.

In his report to IAEA's Board of Governors, ElBaradei has called the Islamic Republic of Iran to voluntary and swiftly declare all nuclear activities in the country, he said.

On access of IAEA's inspectors to Iran's nuclear program, he said, "Iran's cooperation was less than our expectations.

"It is essential for the integrity of the (international nuclear) safeguards operations the case be resolved within next few months," he said.

Underlining the fact that all call for closing the dossier, he said it requires cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Iran and those who are prime suspect for export to contaminated nuclear parts to the country, he said.

On recent resolution issued by three European countries (Germany, Britain and France), which Iran termed the tone of as very rough, he said the fact is that Iran should speed up her cooperation and to voluntarily declare all facts.

The current IAEA's Board of Governor is to discuss methods of these cooperation, he concluded.

ElBaradei: Steady progress in understanding Iran's nuclear program

Tehran, June 14, IRNA -- In an introductory statement to the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna on Monday, ElBaradei said that the Agency is making steady progress in understanding the nature and extent of Iran's nuclear program.

ElBaradei said the Agency has also gained progress in resolving most aspects of Iran's uranium conversion and laser enrichment activities.

ElBaradei said Iran has continued to act as if its additional protocol were in force and in May provided its initial declarations.

With Iran's cooperation, he said, the Agency has had access to all requested locations.

"We have also made progress on verifying Iran's suspension of enrichment related and reprocessing activities, although the suspension is not yet comprehensive due to the continued production of centrifuge components of some workshops."

While a number of issues remain open regarding various aspects of Iran's nuclear program, the central question is whether Iran's uranium enrichment activities have been fully declared, said ElBaradei.

He said, "Two aspects relevant to this question are still being investigated: The first relates to the origin of the particles of high enriched and low enriched uranium contamination found at various locations related to uranium enrichment in Iran; Second we need to gain a fuller understanding of the extent of Iran's efforts to import, manufacture and use centrifuges of the P-2 centrifuge program was not mentioned."

The UN nuclear watchdog chief said the information provided by Iran in April 2004 -- information requested since August 2003 -- has not been sufficient to resolve this complex matter. Iran should make every effort to provide additional relevant information, particularly about the origin of the components in question, and explanations about the presence of a cluster of 36 percent uranium-235 particles at one location, he said.

Elsewhere in his address, ElBaradei said resolving the issue of contamination, however, requires the cooperation of other States from which the contamination equipment is believed to have originated.

"I would call on those States to make every effort to help us resolve these issues. I should clarify, in this regard, that our mention in some of our reports of 'supplier States', or the involvement of other States in different forms, does not imply that the transactions involved took place with the knowledge of the respective governments."

ElBaradei however said in his address, "As mentioned in my report, the information provided by Iran with regard to the P-2 centrifuge program, after repeated requests, has been changing and at times contradictory."

Providing illustrations on his claims, ElBaradei said in Iran's October 2003 declaration, the P-2 centrifuge Program was not mentioned.

He said then, in January 2004, Iran acknowledged that it had received P-2 drawings from a foreign intermediary. At that time, he said, Iranian authorities stated that Iran had not obtained any P-2 centrifuges, or components thereof, from abroad, and also stated that the P-2 program had been only for small scale R&D.

In April, said ElBaradei, however, Iran informed the Agency that it had, in fact, imported some components relevant to its P-2 enrichment activities -- and in late May acknowledged specifically that these components were magnets relevant to P-2 centrifuges, and that, in 2002, it had attempted to obtain thousands of these magnets.

At the time of issuance of the report, additional information on the P-2 centrifuge issue was being provided by Iran, which are currently under assessment at the IAEA, he said.

He added that the IAEA has also taken environmental samples relevant to the issue which are currently undergoing analysis.

He hoped the information will help the IAEA in understanding and clarifying all issues relevant to the P-2 program.

ElBaradei alleged, clearly, this pattern of engagement on the part of Iran is less than satisfactory if it wishes to build confidence in the international community that Iran has indeed revealed the full extent of its nuclear program.

After a year of difficulties encountered by the inspectors, Iran needs to be proactive and fully transparent, ElBaradei asserted.

He said it has been almost two years since Iran's undeclared nuclear program came to the Agency's attention. It is essential for the integrity and credibility of the inspection process that the IAEA be able to bring the issues to a close within the next few months, and provide the international community with the assurances it urgently seeks regarding Iran's nuclear activities.

He said in that regard, the prompt cooperation of Iran is essential.

Moreover, he said, the cooperation of all other countries involved is also key to IAEA ability to resolve some of the outstanding issues.

... Payvand News - 6/14/04 ... --

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