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Iran Threatens Renewed Nuclear Program After U.N. Rebuke

BY Admin  June 18, 2004 at 2:05 PM EDT

The IAEA, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, adopted the resolution Friday that said Iran had not fully cooperated with its inspectors sent to help it dismantle its nuclear program.

“Iran’s cooperation has not been as full, timely and proactive as it should have been,” the resolution said.

The IAEA further said that Iran had delayed inspectors and postponed the release of information vital to the investigation into its nuclear activities and called on the Tehran government to “take all necessary steps on an urgent basis to help resolve all outstanding questions.”

France, Britain, and Germany co-sponsored the resolution.

Iranian officials said, however, that the United States was behind the IAEA’s censure.

“We believe the agency acted based on the pressure from some of the political centers, particularly America,” Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told Iranian state television.

U.S. officials have accused Iran of hiding parts of their nuclear program and had urged IAEA set a deadline for full compliance. A number of U.S. officials have said publicly they believe the government of Iran is in violation of its earlier voluntary agreement to suspend its nuclear program.

“The U.S. continues to believe … (Iran) should be reported to the U.N. Security Council and that its nuclear program presents a threat to international peace and security,” Kenneth Brill, the top U.S. diplomat in Vienna, told the IAEA board.

U.S. officials have also said satellite photos indicate the possible cover up of nuclear activities and facilities, including the bulldozing of buildings and the removal of topsoil from certain sites within Iran.

Iran’s delegate to the IAEA said his government had not engaged in any illegitimate activities and that its nuclear program is only used to generate energy.

“After 670 inspections in the past 15 months there is no claim that Iran has deviated from peaceful activities,” said Amir Zamaninia, Iran’s delegate to the IAEA.

The Iranian government has reportedly demanded that the IAEA’s investigation of its nuclear program be completed.

IAEA officials said, however, that inspections would continue.

“By the end of the year we will have been doing an inspection in Iran for two years and I think that’s long enough time for us to be able to provide the international community with assurances they urgently need,” IAEA chief Mohammed El Baradei said Friday.