Associated Press: Iran has agreed to open records on its uranium enrichment activities, the chief UN nuclear weapons inspector said on Thursday. Associated Press, Vienna, Nov.24: Iran has agreed to open records on its uranium enrichment activities, the chief UN nuclear weapons inspector said on Thursday.
The move could give his experts a better grasp of a programme the Security Council fears could be used for atomic arms.
The concession – announced by Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency – appeared timed to blunt IAEA action against Tehran for its defiance of demands by the agency’s board meant to reduce concerns of a hidden weapons programme.
Unmoved, the IAEA’s 35-nation board denied Iran’s request for technical help in building its Arak plutonium-producing reactor.
Tehran’s decision to provide access to the operating records of its pilot uranium enrichment plant at Natanz came with another incitement – a pledge to allow inspectors to take more samples from a facility that had yielded suspicious traces of enriched uranium.
Both moves were described as potentially significant by UN officials and experts, and ElBaradei called them “important steps”.
Uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing can both produce fissile material for nuclear warheads.
While Iran says it only wants to generate energy and needs the plutonium-producing Arak plant to make nuclear isotopes for medical use, there is concern because both programmes could be used to make weapons.