IAEA suspends technical aid to Iran
The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Friday suspended nearly half of the technical aid it now provides Iran, in line with sanctions imposed on Tehran for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment. As IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei issued the report to his agency's 35-nation board, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator abruptly canceled meetings both with ElBaradei in Vienna and with senior European leaders in Munich, on the sidelines of a security conference in the German city.
Organizers of the Munich conference said Ali Larijani canceled because of an unspecified illness, whereas IAEA officials said they were told he was not coming for "technical reasons."
The Vienna-based IAEA already suspended aid to Iran in five instances last month in line with Security Council sanctions calling for an end to assistance for programs that could be misused to make atomic weapons. On Friday, the agency fully or partially suspended another 18 projects that it deemed could be misused. Those too were subject to review and approval by the board, the AP reported.
Iran gets IAEA technical aid for 15 projects and additional 40 that involve other countries. The suspensions were across the board but in the case of projects involving other countries affected only Iran.