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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 June, 2004, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Iran to review uranium suspension
Iran's top nuclear official Hassan Rohani
Rohani: Iran kept its side of the agreement
Iran's top nuclear official says they will reconsider their voluntary suspension of uranium enrichment after being censured by the UN atomic agency.

Hassan Rohani told reporters in Tehran a decision about uranium activities would be taken in the next few days.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Friday said Iran had not co-operated fully with an investigation into the country's nuclear programme.

The US says Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons - Tehran denies this.

Concern

Mr Rohani said their decision last October to suspend uranium enrichment activities had been a confidence-building measure, not a statutory requirement.

Since then, he said, the Iranian government had signed the additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and co-operated fully with the IAEA.

Aerial view of Natanz facility
Iran has been accused of keeping some of its nuclear activities secret [Photo: Digitalglobe]
But he said Britain, France and Germany, which persuaded Tehran to halt enrichment, had not kept their own promises.

"The Europeans pledged that the Iranian file would be closed in June, and they have not met their commitments," he said.

This refers to the strongly worded resolution adopted on Friday by the IAEA board which sets the scene for the matter to continue at least until the next board meeting in September.

The resolution "deplored" the fact that "Iran's co-operation has not been as full, timely and proactive as it should have been."

It also expressed serious concern that important information about Iran's P2 centrifuges, which can be used to produce bomb-grade uranium, had been incomplete and unclear.

Reactor

Highly enriched uranium can be used for both civil and military purposes. Tehran rejects US allegations that its nuclear programme is being used to make weapons and says it is solely for generating electricity.

Iran would reconsider its decision about suspension in the coming days, Mr Rohani said.

He also made it clear that Iran would not respond positively to the IAEA's call for it to reconsider its plans for uranium conversion at a plant in Isfahan and the construction of a heavy water reactor in Arak.

"The work at Isfahan and Arak is not up for bargaining," said Mr Rohani, who also stressed that Iran did not have any secret uranium enrichment sites.

The IAEA resolution acknowledged that some progress had been made into establishing the nature of Iran's nuclear programme activities but said the inquiry should be wrapped up in the next few months.

Britain, France and Germany drafted the resolution as a compromise after the US wanted to hold Iran to a timetable that could lead to UN sanctions.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Alix Kroeger
"The UN wants Tehran to answer all questions about its nuclear programme"



SEE ALSO:
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Profile: IAEA
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