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Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant (file photo) (AFP)
12 February 2006 -- A team of inspectors from the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has arrived in Iran to supervise the resumption of that country's controversial nuclear research activities.
Iran's parliamentary speaker, Gholam Ali Hadad-Adel, told the official news agency IRNA that research will start today or the next day.
Iran announced it would resume uranium-enrichment research in January, ending a two-year suspension. Enrichment can produce reactor fuel for civilian purposes, but can also be extended to make the fissile core of a nuclear weapon.
The announcement provoked renewed concerns Iran could master weapons technology, and prompted the IAEA board to report Iran to the UN Security Council on 4 February.
READOn 4 February, the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency approved in a 27-3 vote a resolution to report the matter of Iran's nuclear program to the United Nations Security Council. The key section of the resolution is Section 1, which states that the Board of Governors:
Underlines that outstanding questions can best be resolved and confidence built in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's program by Iran responding positively to the calls for confidence-building measures which the Board has made on Iran, and in this context deems it necessary for Iran to:
- reestablish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and processing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the Agency;
- reconsider the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water;
- ratify promptly and implement in full Additional Protocol;
- pending ratification, continue to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol with Iran signed on 18 December 2003;
- implement the transparency measures, as requested by the Director General, which extend beyond the former requirements of the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and include such access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military-owned workshops and research and development as the Agency may request in support of its ongoing investigations.
COMPLETE TEXT: To read the final resolution, with late-hour changes highlighted, click here.
THE COMPLETE PICTURE: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.
An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.