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IAEA Says Iran Must Provide Nuclear Reassurance

IAEA Director-General el-Baradei (file photo) 20 September 2004 -- The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said yesterday that Iran's nuclear program does not present an "imminent threat" but emphasized that the Islamic republic must take measures to reassure the international community about its nuclear intentions.

Mohammad el-Baradei's remarks to CNN television came one day after his agency adopted a resolution calling on Iran to immediately suspend its uranium-enrichment activities and provide a complete review of its nuclear program by 25 November.

Earlier the same day, Hassan Rowhani, secretary-general of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, rejected the UN nuclear agency's demands.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran never committed to any kind of suspension [of nuclear activities] at any time. And you know that in the statement of Tehran, this point was mentioned very clearly -- the suspension is voluntary by the Iranian government as part of confidence-building measures with the IAEA," Rowhani said. "Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran has never committed to any suspension. We already have declared and we are repeating it again today that any kind of obligation to suspend [uranium enrichment] activities is not acceptable to us."

Rowhani also said Iran will stop allowing UN inspectors to make snap inspections at its nuclear facilities if Iran is referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

Iran has adamantly denied U.S.-led charges that it is secretly trying to develop nuclear arms.