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IAEA Head Says Iran Must Do More

1 March 2005 -- The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said Iran must do more to assist the agency's investigation of its nuclear activities.

Mohammad el-Baradei told the IAEA board of governors yesterday that Iran has created what he called "a confidence deficit" because it hid sensitive nuclear activity for almost two decades.

"I'd like to bring that issue to a closure as early as we can and that's why I keep calling on Iran to be proactive and to go out of it's way to help us bring some of these issues to a closure," el-Baradei said.

El-Baradei said the agency has been able to verify Tehran's suspension of activities connected with uranium enrichment. That is a process of purifying uranium for use as fuel for nuclear-power plants or, when very highly enriched, in weapons.

In Moscow yesterday, Russia's Atomic Energy Agency Director Aleksandr Rumyantsev said a deal to provide fuel for the nuclear plant it has built in Iran will help stop the spread of nuclear material. The deal requires Iran to return spent uranium to Russia.

In Brussels, the European Commission said the deal between Russia and Iran reached on 27 February "is compatible" with the EU's efforts to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons.