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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
Analysis: Crisis averted or just delayed?
By Jonathan Marcus
BBC diplomatic correspondent

Two technicians carry a box containing yellowcake at the Iranian nuclear facility at Isfahan
Conversion restarted at Isfahan on Monday, Iran said
Diplomatic pressure is growing on Iran to think again: to halt its uranium conversion activities and to resume its nuclear dialogue with the European Union.

The Russian government has joined its voice to those calling upon Tehran for a change of heart and there are hints from both sides that the talking might continue.

Billed as an emergency meeting of the UN's nuclear watchdog, the gathering at the International Atomic Energy Agency's headquarters in Vienna, which has adjourned until Wednesday, has so far failed to live up to expectations.

There have been few shrill words or demands for diplomatic escalation; rather, a growing consensus that Iran must be encouraged back to the negotiating table.

Russia - a key player because it is building Iran's nuclear power-generating reactors - has joined the chorus. A Foreign Ministry spokesman in Moscow has urged Iran to make what he termed the "wise decision" and halt uranium conversion without delay.

The aim is, in Moscow's view, to provide time to remove all of the remaining questions surrounding Iran's nuclear activities.

Common denominator

That is not exactly the way the Americans and some of the Europeans see it. They want Iran to abandon its uranium enrichment programme altogether.

But the common denominator was well summed up by the French Foreign Minister, Phillipe Douste-Blazy.

Commenting on the Vienna talks, he said that it was still possible to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue.

Cyrus Nasseri
Iran's IAEA ambassador said EU talks would continue 'in good faith'
He received at least the hint of an echo from Tehran.

The new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad noted that his country had initiatives and new suggestions which he plans to put forward once he has chosen his Cabinet.

The IAEA's board must still agree on a statement urging Iran to suspend its current activities and resume negotiations. Iran may simply be unwilling to take such a step.

It is not so much a case of crisis averted, but of crisis delayed - at least for now.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch scientists at work at the plant near Isfahan




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