[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 16 June, 2003, 16:19 GMT 17:19 UK
Iran rejects tougher nuclear checks
Mohammed ElBaradei (L) with President Khatami in Tehran
Iran says it has nothing to hide
Iran has confirmed that it will not sign up to tougher, short-notice inspections of suspected nuclear sites.

The European Union joined growing international pressure on Iran on Monday, saying Tehran should comply with the measures "urgently and unconditionally".

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also urged Iran to agree to strengthened inspections under an additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

But Iran said a ban on the country's access to nuclear technology would have to be lifted before it can agree to such a move.

The head of the IAEA, Mohammed ElBaradei, said Iran had failed to report some of its nuclear activities - an accusation Tehran rejects.

Allows for inspections at short notice
IAEA can take environmental samples at any location

UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, for his part, urged Iran to meet its non-proliferation obligations, as it continues trade negotiations with the European Union.

So far EU foreign ministers have stopped short of backing US accusations that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons programme.

Iran has repeatedly said the aim of its programme was to generate electricity.


An Iranian representative at the IAEA in Vienna said the nuclear issue had been "politically motivated and politically charged", but would be resolved.

In Tehran, a spokesman for the country's Atomic Energy Organisation said Iran was studying the call to sign an additional protocol "with a positive view".

Satellite image of nuclear power reactor in Bushehr, Iran
First nuclear plant comes online by summer 2004
Has signed up to the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty
Can now supply its own power stations with nuclear fuel

He said Tehran might agree to sign it, but reiterated Iran's demand for access to nuclear technology in exchange.

However analysts say this has already been ruled out by the US and other countries.

Mr ElBaradei urged the Iranians to sign the protocols unconditionally.

He said Tehran's co-operation would enable the IAEA "to provide credible assurances regarding the peaceful nature" of the country's nuclear programme.

Some EU countries want trade talks with Iran halted, but a majority believe the EU should keep the door open to dialogue, as a means of obtaining greater transparency on nuclear issues and more progress on human rights and political reforms in Iran.


The EU meeting came a few days after an IAEA report on Iran was leaked.

It says Tehran has failed to:

  • Account for nuclear material

  • Provide documentation for imports of nuclear material

  • Report its subsequent processing and use

  • Declare facilities where the material is stored and processed
Mr ElBaradei visited Iran in February, and toured a nuclear plant under construction at Natanz, 320 kilometres (200 miles) south of Tehran.

The site is crucial, because it is where Iran is developing a series of centrifuges, which could be used to produce enriched uranium - the material used for making a nuclear bomb.

The IAEA reports says that Iran's failure to provide information in a timely manner has become "a matter for concern".

The BBC's Gavin Hewitt
"Iran has been urged to accept further controls"

Iran: Nuclear squeeze is on
16 Jun 03  |  Middle East
Nuclear issue unites Iranian foes
16 Jun 03  |  Middle East
Sixth night of Iran protests
16 Jun 03  |  Middle East
Nuclear experts inspect Iran
07 Jun 03  |  Middle East
UN suspects Iran of nuclear breaches
06 Jun 03  |  Middle East
Is Iran next after Iraq?
29 May 03  |  Middle East

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific