[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 6 February 2006, 20:56 GMT
Iran halts snap nuclear checks
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Ahmadinejad insists the country has a right to nuclear energy
Iran has formally told the UN nuclear watchdog to end snap inspections of its nuclear sites by mid-February.

The International Atomic Energy Agency was also ordered to remove surveillance cameras, according to a letter from the Tehran government released by the IAEA.

Iran also indicated it would end its freeze on full uranium enrichment.

The move follows a decision by the IAEA on Saturday to report Iran to the UN Security Council amid fears Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

'Retaliation'

"All Agency containment and surveillance measures which were in place beyond the agency's normal safeguards measures should be removed by mid-February 2006," a senior official within Iran's Atomic Energy Organization wrote in a letter to the IAEA.

The letter, dated 5 February, said Iran would sharply reduce the number of agency inspections and ban intrusive, short-notice visits by inspectors to its nuclear sites.

The letter also said Tehran would resume measures that it had voluntarily suspended - a reference, diplomats say, to uranium-enrichment.

Uranium enrichment is a process that creates fuel for nuclear reactors and, potentially, for a nuclear bomb.

Iran denies it has been concealing efforts to develop nuclear weapons, maintaining its programme is only for producing energy and does not have a military aim.

NEXT STEPS
16 Feb, Moscow:Russia and Iran may resume talks on Russia's proposed compromise
March, Vienna: IAEA to report on Iranian compliance; possible Security Council action to follow

The move to report Tehran to the UN Security Council was agreed by 27 of the 35 states of the IAEA.

Russia and China agreed to support the resolution on condition it did not contain any immediate threat of sanctions against Iran.

Only Venezuela, Cuba and Syria voted against it.

India voted in favour of the motion in spite of the government coming under intense domestic pressure to stand by Iran.

The vote came weeks after Iran said it was resuming suspended research on uranium enrichment.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See inside an Iranian nuclear plant




PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific