Vienna, 15 September 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), today called on Iran to resolve all unsettled issues surrounding its nuclear program as soon as possible. Mohammad el-Baradei, speaking at the start of an assembly of the IAEA's 135 member nations, demanded that Iran must explain recent evidence that it possesses highly enriched uranium.
The IAEA's discovery of weapons-grade uranium at an Iranian nuclear facility has renewed concerns that Tehran may be seeking to develop nuclear weapons. The agency on 12 September set a 31 October deadline for Iran to prove that it does not have a secret nuclear-weapons program.
The IAEA assembly is also set to address concerns over North Korea's nuclear program, and to discuss the possible resumption of international inspections in Iraq to look for any traces of a nuclear-weapons program that might have been operated by ousted President Saddam Hussein's regime.