September 1st, 2006 03:15 EST
Security Council receives UN watchdog's report on Iran's nuclear activities
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today sent a new report on Iran to the United Nations Security Council, which has threatened sanctions if the country does not suspend uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities and take steps to assure the world that it is not developing nuclear arms.
In announcing that the report went to the 15-member body, the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog said its circulation is restricted and unless the IAEA Board of Governors and Security Council decide otherwise, the Agency cannot authorize its release to the public. "
In a 31 July resolution, the Council said Iran had not taken required steps to assure the world it is not developing nuclear arms, demanded a suspension of the country`s nuclear enrichment and reprocessing activities, and threatened sanctions for non-compliance.
The IAEA was requested to report on whether Iran had complied with the resolution within a month. In previous reports, the Agency has been unable to verify that Iran`s nuclear programme was peaceful, though it had not seen any diversion of material to nuclear weapons or other explosive devices.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is currently on a diplomatic tour of the Middle East, is likely to stop in Iran, according to his spokesman.
Earlier this month, Mr. Annan appealed to Tehran to respond positively to an offer made by China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the support of the European Union`s High Representative.
The so-called EU-3 plus 3 " proposals, which were endorsed by the Council in its July resolution, envisage a long-term comprehensive arrangement which would allow for the development of relations with Iran based on mutual respect and the establishment of international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran`s nuclear programme.
Iran`s reply will, I trust, be positive and that this will be the foundation for a final, negotiated settlement, " the Secretary-General said in an appeal to the country`s Government on 20 August.