Iran officially announces suspension of uranium enrichment program
The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has found "no evidence" so far that Iran is trying to make nuclear weapons, diplomats citing from a confidential agency report said Monday.
The report, drawn up by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, faults Iran for hiding nuclear activities that led to suspicions it was trying to make such weapons, the diplomats said on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Iran told Russia on Monday it was temporarily suspending its disputed uranium enrichment program and was giving a letter to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agreeing to ink the so-called Additional Protocol.
"Before your government, I officially announce that today we are giving to the IAEA a letter agreeing with the additional protocol. From today we are temporarily suspending our process of uranium enrichment," Hassan Rohani, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council told Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Reuters.
"They (IAEA officials) gave us to understand that they had no further questions that Iran had not already answered," added Rohani at his Kremlin meeting with Putin.
On Sunday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Iran would suspend uranium enrichment within the next few days. The uranium enrichment plant has been set up to produce fuel for Bushehr nuclear power plant.
"Iran will announce its decision to sign the additional protocol to non-proliferation treaty (NPT) within the next few days," he told reporters in his weekly briefing.
He said that Iran has provided the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with full details of national nuclear program and extensive cooperation is going on with the specialized agency to prove the futility of the propaganda against Iranian nuclear program.
In addition, the confidential U.N. nuclear agency report criticized Iran for a "pattern of concealment" about its nuclear program even though it said no evidence has been found to back U.S. claims it tried to make atomic bombs, according to diplomats.
The report by the IAEA also found that Iran had produced small amounts of enriched uranium and plutonium, the Washington Post reported.
In its Tuesday edition, the Washington Post said the report found that Iran manufactured small amounts of enriched uranium and plutonium as part of a covert nuclear program.
"Iran has now acknowledged that it has been developing, for 18 years, a uranium centrifuge program, and, for 12 years, a laser enrichment program," the Post said, quoting the report. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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