Iran Nuclear NewsIAEA urges Iran not to resume nuclear activities until...

IAEA urges Iran not to resume nuclear activities until next week

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AFP: The UN atomic agency Wednesday urged Iran not to resume nuclear fuel cycle work until an international inspection system is in place, after Tehran threatened to restart the work immediately. The International Atomic Energy Agency has “made it clear that we need until the middle of next week to get our surveillance equipment in place before any seals could be cut and nuclear activities started,” IAEA spokeswoman Melissa
Fleming said in a statement. AFP

VIENNA – The UN atomic agency Wednesday urged Iran not to resume nuclear fuel cycle work until an international inspection system is in place, after Tehran threatened to restart the work immediately.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has “made it clear that we need until the middle of next week to get our surveillance equipment in place before any seals could be cut and nuclear activities started,” IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said in a statement.

“The agency calls on Iran again not to start any activities in Isfahan (where there is a uranium conversion facility) before the IAEA inspection system is in place,” Fleming said.

She was reacting to an announcement in Tehran earlier Wednesday that Iran hopes to resume limited nuclear activities at Isfahan.

The announcement by nuclear negotiator Ali Agha Mohammadi came shortly after Iran’s new ultra-conservative President Mahmood Ahmadinejad took office.

“I hope to remove the seals and resume activities today,” nuclear negotiator Ali Agha Mohammadi told reporters.

The EU and the United Stated are expected to call for Iran to be brought before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions if Tehran resumes the conversion activities, the first phase in making fuel for civilian nuclear reactors that could also serve as the explosive core of atom bombs.

Both on Tuesday issued sharp warnings to Tehran over its threats to resume the sensitive nuclear work.

Iran had told the IAEA on Monday that it was ready to resume the conversion work and not wait for a package of trade and other incentives the European Union plans to present to Tehran this coming weekend in a bid to obtain guarantees from the Islamic Republic that it will not make nuclear weapons.

Iran had suspended all nuclear fuel cycle work in order to get the negotiations started last December.

But the IAEA said Monday that it needed at least a week to set up the necessary monitoring at the Isfahan plant, where it has placed seals on the conversion equipment as part of its verification of the suspension.

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