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Iran: Tehran Criticizes IAEA, Threatens To End Cooperation

Tehran, 10 September 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi (pictured) says Iran may reconsider its cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), if it is denied the right to a peaceful nuclear program. In comments to the official IRNA news agency, Kharrazi accused countries on the IAEA board of governors of "arrogance" and of adopting an "extremist posture."

The IAEA is set to consider at a meeting in Vienna today a draft resolution that would give Iran until the end of next month to fully comply with its nonproliferation obligations.

The United States yesterday accused Iran of violating international nuclear nonproliferation agreements but agreed to give Iran another month to clear up questions about its nuclear program.

Iran says its nuclear program is aimed only at generating electricity. But IAEA inspectors say they recently found traces of highly-enriched uranium at an Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz.

Meanwhile, Kharrazi today concludes a two-day official visit to Bulgaria that will include talks with Foreign Minister Solomon Pasi, Prime Minister Simeon Saxecoburggotski and President Georgii Parvanov.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry says their meetings will focus on bilateral issues as well as on Iran's controversial nuclear program.

The United States says Iran is working on a secret nuclear weapons program. But Iran says its nuclear efforts are aimed only at generating electricity.

Iran and Bulgaria are both among the UN agency's 35 member nations.