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Iran Agrees To Improve Cooperation With IAEA

Tehran, 6 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog said that Iran agreed today on a timetable for speeding up cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

IAEA Director-General Mohammad el-Baradei told reporters in Tehran today that officials agreed on an action plan with a schedule for moving forward on all outstanding issues.

El-Baradei said that Iranian Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh, who heads the country's Atomic Energy Organization, committed that "Iran would do everything possible to accelerate the process of resolving the outstanding issues, and we hope during the course of my visit we will be able to develop an action plan where we can have a time line and see how we [can] work together to resolve the outstanding issues."

El-Baradei said that during talks today, National Security Council Secretary Hassan Rowhani assured him that Iran will offer fresh information on its nuclear program this month as well as in mid-May.

El-Baradei also met with Aghazadeh, who said Iran will temporarily suspend making and assembling nuclear parts, including centrifuges for uranium enrichment.

That appeared to contradict a 29 March statement in which Tehran said it already stopped building such centrifuges.

Last October, Iran vowed to suspend uranium enrichment, which is needed for the production of nuclear weapons, and to accept snap inspections of its nuclear facilities.

However, the country has come under growing criticism, particularly from Washington, that it is pursuing a secret weapons program. Iran denies those accusations.