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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 September, 2004, 00:02 GMT 01:02 UK
Iran offer over nuclear programme
By Bethany Bell
BBC correspondent in Vienna

A general view of Iran's first nuclear reactor, being built in Bushehr
There are calls for Iran to end enrichment activity
A leading Iranian official has told the BBC that Tehran is prepared to give further assurances that its uranium enrichment programme will be peaceful.

The pledge was made by head of the Iranian delegation to the International Atomic Energy Agency Hossein Mousavian.

The US, Britain, France and Germany have submitted a resolution to the IAEA which calls on Iran to freeze all enrichment activities.

Some other board members find that difficult to accept.

Programme 'peaceful'

Mr Mousavian told the BBC that Iran is prepared to discuss giving further assurances that its uranium enrichment process will be peaceful and will never be diverted.

He said the Europeans had been informed of the offer.

The question of Iran's enrichment programme is at the heart of a diplomatic wrangle at the IAEA's board of governors.

The US, Britain, France and Germany are calling for a halt to all enrichment-related activities in Iran, amid fears that Tehran could be trying to develop a nuclear weapons programme.

But other board members have expressed reservations and Iran insists on its right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes.

The board is set to consider the resolution on Saturday.

The resolution would impose an indirect deadline on Iran to meet the board's conditions.

It keeps open the option of further steps if Iran fails to comply with IAEA demands that could include taking Tehran before the UN Security Council.

Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful and not a matter for New York.


SEE ALSO:
UN urges cautious Iran approach
17 Sep 04  |  Middle East
Iran nuclear resolution 'agreed'
17 Sep 04  |  Middle East
Suspicion over Iran arms facility
16 Sep 04  |  Middle East
Q&A: Iran's nuclear programme
13 Sep 04  |  Middle East
Timeline: Iran
13 Aug 04  |  Country profiles


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