AFP: Iran has shown “disdain for international concern” over its atomic program by removing seals at its Natanz nuclear research plant, the US ambassador to the UN nuclear watchdog said Tuesday. VIENNA, Jan 10, 2006 (AFP) – Iran has shown “disdain for international concern” over its atomic program by removing seals at its Natanz nuclear research plant, the US ambassador to the UN nuclear watchdog said Tuesday.
“Today Iran is taking another deliberate step towards uranium enrichment, the process for creating nuclear bomb material,” said Gregory Schulte, the US ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“By cutting the seals, the Iranian leadership shows its disdain for international concern and its rejection of international diplomacy.
“The (Iranian) regime continues to choose confrontation over cooperation, a choice that deepens isolation of Iran and harms the interests of the Iranian people,” he said in a statement.
The United States, which accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, reiterated Monday that it may seek Tehran’s referral to the UN Security Council over its nuclear programme.
The IAEA confirmed earlier Tuesday that Iran has removed seals at its Natanz nuclear research plant, under supervision by the agency’s inspectors.
The move paves the way for the resumption of sensitive nuclear work despite protests from the international community.
Mohammad Saidi, the deputy head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, had earlier announced the removal of seals at research centres, but did not specify where. Natanz is a facility in central Iran.
Iran had announced last week it would restart research into the nuclear fuel cycle, a process linked to uranium enrichment, ending a two-year suspension.
Iran says its atomic programme is for entirely peaceful purposes.