AFP: Iran has written to the UN nuclear watchdog over its plans to resume nuclear research but has failed to meet the agency’s demand for further explanations, an agency official said Sunday. VIENNA, Jan 8 (AFP) – Iran has written to the UN nuclear watchdog over its plans to resume nuclear research but has failed to meet the agency’s demand for further explanations, an agency official said Sunday.
Spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told AFP: “We received a letter today,” but “we still need more detailed information.”
“We are in constant consultation with Iran ” she added.
Iran said last week it would resume work from Monday, prompting Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, to ask for clarification.
The IAEA wants to know exactly what research will resume and were it will be carried out. The agency said Saturday that a first letter received from Iran did not satisfy questions about the resumption of its research.
The Iranians scheduled and then cancelled two meetings, one Wednesday and the second Thursday.
Tehran has been trying to make a distinction between research into the nuclear fuel cycle and actual production of enriched uranium, which can be used as fuel in civil reactors or, in highly enriched form, as the explosive core of an atom bomb.
But the United States, which suspects the Islamic republic of using its civil nuclear programme as a cover for weapons development, has warned it will regard any resumption of research as proof that Iran is not serious about negotiations to allay Western concerns.
The IAEA and Western governments have urged Tehran not to resume research, believing it could compromise planned talks with the European Union and lead to Iran being referred to the UN Security Council.
Iran said it was ready to remove UN-supervised seals at its research centres from Monday and called on the IAEA to have inspectors ready to witness the process.
As Iran’s suspension of nuclear research was voluntary, the presence of IAEA inspectors for the resumption is not a requirement under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), according to a diplomat close to the watchdog.
But Iran’s top security body, which first announced the research resumption last Tuesday, has made clear it wants to work with the watchdog.