Iran Nuclear NewsIran should build international confidence: UN nuclear chief

Iran should build international confidence: UN nuclear chief

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AFP: The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said Monday Iran should do what it could to build international trust, after diplomatic sources said Tehran could launch a pilot uranium enrichment program soon.
BERLIN, March 27, 2006 (AFP) – The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog said Monday Iran should do what it could to build international trust, after diplomatic sources said Tehran could launch a pilot uranium enrichment program soon.

“I’d like to see Iran do all they can to build confidence,” Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Agency for Atomic Energy (IAEA), told reporters after talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier when asked about the report.

“I would like Iran to do what they can right now to lower our doubts… until negotiations resume,” said ElBaradei, who also met German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his stay in Berlin.

Diplomats close to the UN nuclear watchdog told AFP Saturday that Iran could be running a 164-centrifuge pilot cascade to enrich uranium by the end of March or beginning of April.

At the pilot cascade in the Iranian city of Natanz, “there is just piping to be finished, then they do vacuum tests, then they would test with inert gas and finally they would put in uranium gas to begin the process,” said a diplomat close to the Vienna-based IAEA.

The remarks came at a time when talks within the UN Security Council on a statement calling Iran to account for its suspected nuclear weapons activities have reached at impasse.

The United States and its allies charge that Iran’s nuclear programme conceals an effort to develop weapons and have urged it to halt sensitive uranium enrichment activities.

Iran vehemently denies the charges, saying its research is peaceful and meant to provide fuel for its power plants.

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