Iran's parliament in session (file photo) (Fars)
December 27, 2006 -- Iran's parliament today passed a bill that obliges the government to "revise its cooperation level" with the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The text also says that Iranian authorities are obliged to pursue the country's civilian nuclear program.
Today's vote stopped short of making recommendations about severing ties with the IAEA.
The vote comes days after the UN Security Council approved limited sanctions on Iran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment -- a process that can produces materials for either nuclear reactors or weapons.
(AFP, AP, Reuters)
A control panel at the Bushehr nuclear power plant (Fars)
CASCADES AND CENTRIFUGES: Experts and pundits alike continue to debate the goals and status of Iran's nuclear program. It remains unclear whether the program is, as Tehran insists, a purely peaceful enegy project or, as the United States claims, part of an effort to acquire nuclear weapons. On June 7, 2006, RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel spoke with nuclear expert Shannon Kile of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden to help sort through some of the technical issues involved. "[Natanz] will be quite a large plant," Kile said. "There will be about 50,000 centrifuges and how much enriched uranium that can produce [is] hard to say because the efficiency of the centrifuges is not really known yet. But it would clearly be enough to be able to produce enough [highly-enriched uranium] for a nuclear weapon in fairly short order, if that's the route that they chose to go...." (more)