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IAEA Head Says Iran Must Halt Enrichment

Muhammad el-Baradei (file photo) 8 October 2004 -- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Muhammad el-Baradei said today that Iran must freeze all its uranium-enrichment activities by the IAEA board meeting on 25 November.

El-Baradei said that he is hopeful Tehran will comply by a meeting of the UN nuclear agency's board of governors scheduled for the end of November.

El-Baradei also said that although the UN nuclear agency has not detected any signs that Iran is using its nuclear program for military purposes, Tehrans' assurances that its program is strictly peaceful need to be verified by international inspectors.

El-Baradei said that if Iran fails to comply, the IAEA board will consider "further steps." The United States has called for Iran to be referred to the UN Security Council, which can impose sanctions.

Iran has repeatedly said that it will not give in to foreign pressure on its nuclear intentions.


For more on Iran's nuclear program and its dealings with the IAEA, see RFE/RL's webpage on Iran.