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IAEA Tells Iran To Halt Uranium Enrichment

IAEA chief Muhammad el-Baradei (file photo) (official site) June 14, 2007 -- Muhammad el-Baradei, the head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), today called on Iran to declare a moratorium on enriching uranium and resume negotiations on its nuclear program.

El-Baradei said Iran should stop building and installing additional centrifuges at its nuclear facility in Natanz.

But the IAEA chief also said any attack on Iran because of its nuclear program would be "madness."

El-Baradei's statements came at the end of an IAEA special meeting in Vienna on Iran's nuclear program, during which Iranian delegates again reiterated the country's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment work.

Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, Iran's chief representative to the IAEA, said Tehran could further limit its cooperation with the international agency if the Islamic Republic is slapped with new sanctions.

The United States is seeking fresh sanctions against Iran over fears Tehran is seeking to develop atomic weapons. On June 13, U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns warned that Iran could face new sanctions as soon as "the next week or two" unless it comes to the negotiating table on its nuclear program.

Burns said Iran has made a major miscalculation if it believes it has any support internationally for its actions.

(compiled from agency reports)

RFE/RL Iran Report

RFE/RL Iran Report

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