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Iran's President Threatens Halt In Nuclear Cooperation With UN

Tehran, 11 March 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian President Mohammad Khatami today reiterated a warning that his government could stop cooperating with the UN nuclear watchdog agency if it adopts a resolution condemning Tehran's nuclear program.

Khatami said in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must adopt a "realistic policy and not be influenced" by the United States.

In Washington, Secretary of State Colin Powell said a IAEA resolution being debated includes a warning Iran is close to violating its IAEA obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and could face "further action."

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi yesterday said Iran would resume its uranium enrichment program after resolving its case with the IAEA.

IAEA chief Muhammad el-Baradei warned such a move could prove very damaging. He praised Iranian cooperation so far.

"Now they [Iranian officials] are cooperating in a very good way with the agency, and I hope we will continue to get Iran's cooperation so we can verify that all their programs are exclusively for peaceful purposes," el-Baradei said.

The IAEA's 35-nation board is meeting in Vienna this week to decide how to deal with Iran's failure to fully disclose its nuclear activities.