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Iran: U.S. Envoy Accuses Tehran Of Brazen Nuclear Violations

Vienna, 21 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ken Brill, today accused Iran of "brazen and systematic violations of its nuclear nonproliferation obligations." The U.S. is seeking to have Iran declared in "noncompliance" with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty -- a step that could lead to UN sanctions against Iran.

Today's talks at the IAEA focused on a report by the UN agency that cites Iran for numerous violations of its nuclear obligations, but says there is no evidence Iran had secretly been developing weapons.

France, Germany, and Britain had proposed a resolution that accuses Iran of "failures to meet safeguards obligations."

The IAEA has postponed until next week a decision on a resolution about Iran's nuclear program.

A decision by the UN agency's 35-nation board of governors had been expected today. But agency head Muhammad el-Baradei says a consensus was not reached.

"I think progress is being made, there is very intensive discussion, consultation among all IAEA [board of governors] members to try to reach a consensus resolution [on Iran's nuclear program]. I think things are moving, but clearly they need more time and I understand that they might not table a resolution before some time next week," el-Baradei said.

IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters that the meeting would reconvene on 3 December.

The board ended the talks by formally approving Iran's intention to sign the Additional Protocol, giving the agency the right to conduct more intrusive, snap nuclear inspections.

Iran's parliament must still ratify the document before it will formally enter into force.