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Iran: IAEA Debates U.S.-Backed Resolution

Vienna, 9 September 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The 35 members of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, today continue debate on a U.S.-backed resolution that would strongly urge Iran to fully disclose its nuclear programs. The agency's director-general, Mohamed ElBaradei, yesterday opened the closed-door talks in Vienna by calling on Iran, a member of the UN agency, to sign a protocol that would give agency inspectors the power to make unannounced checks of the country's atomic facilities.

Iran's delegate to the talks, Ali Akbar Salehi, said yesterday that the outcome of the agency's session will determine if Iran will sign the protocol.

The United States has alleged Iran is working on a secret nuclear weapons program. But Iran has denied the charges, and says its nuclear efforts are aimed only at the peaceful generation of electricity.