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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 March, 2004, 19:29 GMT
Iran set for UN nuclear censure
Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant under construction
Iran says the world must accept its nuclear status
Iran faces criticism for failing to disclose parts of its nuclear programme in a resolution drafted at a meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog, diplomats say.

However the draft motion is reported to put off any move on possible sanctions.

Iran earlier rejected charges that it was in breach of accords on nuclear safeguards. It added that it would not accept comparisons with Libya.

It was responding after the UN agency's chief expressed concern at omissions in a declaration on its nuclear programme.

'Final picture'

The resolution is to be submitted to the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors meeting this week in the Austrian capital Vienna.

It has been discussing a critical report on Iran, which notes that Tehran failed to reveal sensitive research in a declaration submitted last October.

Correspondents say that both the US and key European nations accepted compromises to come up with an appropriate mixture of criticism and praise for Iran.

A draft of the resolution acquired by news agencies expressed "most serious concern" that past declarations by Iran "did not amount to the correct, complete and final picture of Iran's past and present nuclear programme" despite a pledge to be completely open about such activities.

But Iran is praised for signing an agreement throwing open its nuclear programmes to full IAEA inspection.

And a decision on action in response to the "omissions" is to be deferred until the IAEA's meeting in June.

No comparison

At the beginning of the meeting on Monday, Mr ElBaradei told reporters that Iran and Libya had been in breach of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.

Mr ElBaradei singled out for particular concern Iran's failure to declare that it was researching advanced centrifuge designs, known as P2, capable of producing highly enriched uranium.

Iran's foreign minister hit back on Tuesday claiming that it was wrong to compare Iran with Libya, according to the state news agency Irna.

This was because Libya had officially declared it was pursuing nuclear weapons - in breach of the Non-Proliferation Agreement - whereas Iran is not, he said.

He added that Iran's shortcomings were in the past and most of them had been resolved.

European states led by Germany, France and the UK have favoured a more conciliatory approach to Iran, pointing to the complicated political situation within the Islamic republic.

Iran halted its enrichment programme last year under international pressure but has indicated the move is only temporary.

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18 Dec 03  |  Middle East

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