8/16/2005

BBC: Middle East | Iran removes UN's nuclear seals

10 August 2005

Iran has broken all the remaining UN seals at its nuclear plant at Isfahan, making it fully operational.

The removal was completed under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has installed equipment to monitor activity.

EU countries quickly proposed a resolution to the United Nations nuclear watchdog in Vienna calling for Iran to stop the nuclear fuel work.

But Iran said again it had a right to develop nuclear technology.

The EU's draft resolution is scheduled to be heard at a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation board on Thursday.

It is thought the resolution does not call for Iran's actions to be referred to the UN Security Council.

However, the BBC's Emma Jane Kirby in Vienna says the US and Britain are calling for tough action against Iran.

She says that although Iran has not broken international law by resuming uranium conversion work, the West believes it has certainly broken the spirit of the Vienna talks.

Matthew Boland, spokesman of the US Mission to the UN in Vienna, said: "Today's breaking of seals is yet another sign of Iran's disregard of international concerns."

But Iran's chief negotiator, Cyrus Nasseri, defended the move.

"All we want to do is to produce nuclear fuel and we are prepared to provide credible assurances to our European partners that we will not divert this to other purposes," he said.

Iran's new President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has said he is ready for more talks and will put forward new proposals.

Sanctions

The EU and US suspect Iran's scheme is a cover for a nuclear weapons programme.

The EU wants Iran to resume its suspension of conversion work in return for economic and political concessions.

Iran suspended its nuclear programme in 2004 but has rejected the latest EU offer.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iran removes UN's nuclear seals: "10 August 2005"

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