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Iran Suspends Key Nuclear Work

22 November 2004 -- Iran says it froze today sensitive nuclear activities, including uranium enrichment, to meet international concerns about the intentions of its nuclear program.

Iranian government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh told reporters in Tehran that the move meets the deadline agreed to by Iran and the European Union negotiating trio of France, Germany, and Britain.

In Vienna, the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Muhammad el-Baradei, gave preliminary confirmation to the suspension. He said IAEA officials were applying seals to Iranian nuclear equipment, and he hoped to say definitively by tomorrow that all work had stopped.

The suspension comes just three days ahead of a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, which could refer Iran's activities to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons, and is pushing the board to report Iran to the Security Council. Iran denies the accusation.