El Baradei opens IAEA meeting, group to discuss security council referral, possible deadline for Iran
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei opened on Monday a meeting to discuss the possible involvement of the United Nations Security Council in the ongoing Iranian nuclear crisis.
A one to two month deadline for Iran to cooperate with international inspectors is also reportedly being discussed by US leaders, according to Reuters.
If Iran does not comply by such a deadline, is will face intensified pressure from the Council.
The 25-member IAEA is also expected to discuss a February 4 report by El Baradei, urging Iran to cease uranium enrichment.
Iran threatened on Sunday to increase its nuclear enrichment if the security council is summoned on the matter.
The United States wants the council give Iran "a time period to respond say 30 to 60 days" after which it would reassess how to handle the controversial nuclear matter.
Iran has maintained that its nuclear program is for civilian energy purposes alone, and that the program's continuation is within its rights under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, of which it is a signatory.
If highly purified, enriched uranium can be used to create nuclear bombs.
© 2006 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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