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Iran again gets off with warning, no deadline despite findings

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Sunday, June 20, 2004

LONDON Iran has again succeeded in avoiding international sanctions despite new findings that Teheran concealed its nuclear program from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran has reported to the IAEA it possesses "design drawings" of the P-2 centrifuge and that it enriched uranium to 54 percent, far beyond the level required to produce bomb-grade fuel, according to the June 22 edition of Geostrategy-Direct.com.

The IAEA board of governors decided not to sanction Iran or refer its lack of cooperation to the United Nations Security Council. Instead, the 35-member board again warned Iran to provide a complete picture of its nuclear program.

The resolution did not stipulate a deadline for Iranian compliance with the agency. The resolution said Iran must deal with outstanding issues of cooperation and compliance "within the next few months," Middle East Newsline reported.

Still, the United States said it was pleased with the IAEA resolution.

U.S. officials said the resolution advanced the Iranian case to the next level and could eventually refer Teheran's compliance to the Security Council.

"The results will keep Iran's nuclear program and its efforts to deceive and obstruct IAEA inspectors at the center of international attention for quite some time," U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said in a statement.

"Iran's cooperation has not been as full, timely and proactive as it should have been," the IAEA resolution said.

"The resolution underlines that, with the passage of time, it's becoming ever more important that Iran work proactively to enable the IAEA to gain a full understanding of Iran's enrichment program by providing all relevant information," a UN statement said. "The resolution also calls on Iran to urgently take all necessary steps to help resolve all of the IAEA's outstanding questions."

The IAEA resolution did not contain a so-called "trigger mechanism," or clause that would refer the Iranian case to the Security Council. The United States has sought a clause to ensure that the council would consider whether Iran was violating the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Still, the United States said it was pleased with the IAEA resolution.

U.S. officials said the resolution advanced the Iranian case to the next level and could eventually refer Teheran's compliance to the Security Council.

"The results will keep Iran's nuclear program and its efforts to deceive and obstruct IAEA inspectors at the center of international attention for quite some time," U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said in a statement.

In response to the resolution, Iran again threatened to end its cooperation with the IAEA. Iran also warned of a reassessment of its decision to suspend uranium enrichment activities, a major element in the assembly of nuclear weapons.

"Iran will reconsider its decision about suspension and will do some uranium activity in the coming days," Iranian National Security Adviser Hassan Rowhani said.

IAEA officials said the agency's next step would be to examine a restricted military area in a Teheran suburb where uranium enrichment was believed to have been secretly conducted. Officials said the agency planned to inspect Lavizan Shiyan over the next two months. The board plans to meet next in September 2004.


Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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