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Iran Rebuked For Lack Of Cooperation On Inspections

18 June 2004 -- The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency approved a resolution today that sharply criticizes Iran for failing to fully cooperate with a probe into its nuclear program.

The resolution -- passed unanimously by the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna -- warns Tehran to be more forthcoming if it wants to end the probe.

The resolution -- co-sponsored by France, Britain, and Germany -- does not threaten to report Iran to the UN Security Council for possible economic sanctions in the event of further poor cooperation.

IAEA chief Muhamad el-Baradei said: "The board made it very clear that they expect these issues to come closed in the next few months. I've said that before, that for the integrity of the process, we need to bring the issue of Iran's program to a close in the next few months, and the board fully subscribed to that."

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi rejected the resolution as politically motivated, but said Tehran will meet its commitments to the IAEA.

The United States claims Iran is secretly building nuclear weapons. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes. Kenneth Brill, the U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, praised the resolution but said Washington believes Iran has violated its international nonproliferation commitments and should be reported to the Security Council.

(international agencies)