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UN Nuclear Agency Demands Iran Freeze Activities

IAEA head Muhammad el-Baradei (file photo) 18 September 2004 -- The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency's governing board unanimously passed a resolution demanding that Iran freeze all activities related to uranium enrichment.

The resolution calls on Iran to grant full, prompt access to inspectors and sets a 25 November deadline to provide a definitive review of its nuclear activities.

Iran played down the importance of the resolution. It did not call for the board to report Tehran to the UN Security Council, as the United States had hoped.

IAEA chief Muhammad el-Baradei said the board would decide after his report in November if further steps are needed:

"I will report to the board. And the board, as stated in the report, will decide whether or not to take further appropriate steps in response to Iran's compliance, on the one hand, with its legal obligations and response by Iran with regard to the confidence-building measures."

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said unless Iran complies, it must be hauled before the Security Council.

Iran denies U.S. claims that it has a secret nuclear-weapons program. The IAEA says it has thus far not found irrefutable evidence of a weapons program.