Reuters: Iran has yet to satisfy U.N. watchdogs that its nuclear program seeks only to produce electric power and not bombs, the head of the U.N. nuclear agency told the General Assembly on Monday. By Irwin Arieff
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iran has yet to satisfy U.N. watchdogs that its nuclear program seeks only to produce electric power and not bombs, the head of the U.N. nuclear agency told the General Assembly on Monday.
Iran has neither suspended its nuclear enrichment-related activities nor been transparent enough to resolve all the outstanding questions of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency since August 31, when the IAEA issued its last report on Iran, Mohamed ElBaradei said.
“The IAEA continues therefore to be unable to confirm the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, which is a matter of serious concern,” ElBaradei, the IAEA director-general, said in his annual report to the 192-nation U.N. body.
But he said he remained hopeful that Iran ultimately would enter negotiations aimed at addressing both international fears about Iran’s aims and Tehran’s own worries about its security.
ElBaradei also expressed “deep and serious concern” about North Korea’s October 9 test of a nuclear weapon at a time an informal global moratorium is in place on such testing.
A nuclear North Korea “is a clear setback to international commitments to move toward nuclear disarmament,” he said, calling for all states to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the 10-year-old convention banning nuclear tests.
The pact has been ratified by 135 nations but among those failing to doing so are 10 nations — including Iran and North Korea — deemed by the treaty’s drafters as capable of producing nuclear arms.
The 15-nation U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution imposing financial and weapons sanctions on North Korea less than a week after its test.
The measure barred trade in dangerous arms and authorized nations to stop cargo entering and leaving North Korea to check for weapons of mass destruction and related supplies.
The council is now working on a new resolution that would impose sanctions on Tehran over its refusal to obey a council demand that it suspend all nuclear enrichment activities.
ElBaradei renewed his plea for a new international program to stem the spread of enrichment and nuclear reprocessing technology while at the same time ensuring supplies of nuclear fuel to countries with civilian nuclear energy programs.