Iran Nuclear NewsAnnan Urges Iran to Exercise `Restraint' With Nuclear Program

Annan Urges Iran to Exercise `Restraint’ With Nuclear Program

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Bloomberg: United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan urged Iran to exercise “restraint” after the government
restarted conversion of uranium. Iran yesterday resumed uranium conversion activities at its nuclear plant in the central city of Isfahan, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in an e-mailed statement. Bloomberg

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan urged Iran to exercise “restraint” after the government restarted conversion of uranium.

Iran yesterday resumed uranium conversion activities at its nuclear plant in the central city of Isfahan, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in an e-mailed statement.

“The Secretary-General spoke to the newly elected President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, about the Iranian nuclear program and the negotiations with the European Union-3,” a statement from the UN said. “He urged restraint and encouraged the continuation of the ongoing process.”

Iran’s decision to resume uranium conversion will probably end negotiations with the EU-3, France, Germany and the U.K., which offered the country trade and technology incentives in return for a halt in the nuclear fuel cycle. Iran rejected their latest offer on Aug. 6. The U.S. said the Security Council in New York should discuss the imposition of sanctions if Iran resumed the uranium processing.

Iran began to feed uranium ore concentrate into the first part of its process line, the IAEA said. The Vienna-based UN agency said that IAEA seals preventing Iran from completing the uranium enrichment process remain intact.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said yesterday the U.S would confer with the EU-3 countries on the next step.

“This is Iran thumbing its nose at a productive approach by the EU-3, and we’ll have to work together to take a response,” Ereli told reporters in Washington.

Naming Negotiator

The Islamic Republic also named Ali Larijani to replace Hassan Rohani as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency. Rohani had led Iran’s efforts to craft an agreement with European negotiators.

The U.S.-backed European diplomatic effort to get Iran to step back from the brink of pursuing nuclear arms is a test of wills between Europe and Ahmadinejad, who was sworn in as Iran’s new president Aug. 3.

The IAEA will hold an emergency meeting of its board of governors today in Vienna to discuss Iran’s decision to restart its uranium program. Conversion is an initial step in enriching uranium, or increasing the concentration of the U-235 isotope that starts and sustains a nuclear reaction.

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