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12/4/03 - I-A-E-A CENSURES IRAN - 2003-12-05

In a November 26th resolution, the board of governors of the Atomic Energy Agency deplored Iran’s eighteen-year cover-up of its nuclear development activities. Iran’s program includes research into uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing -- technologies that can produce the material needed for nuclear weapons.

The resolution reflects the world’s strong concerns about Iran’s past noncompliance with its Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty obligations. It also demonstrates a commitment to preserve and strengthen the treaty.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says the I-A-E-A resolution sends the message that further Iranian failure to disclose details of its nuclear programs will not be tolerated:

“There is one particular paragraph in the resolution which makes it very, very clear that if Iran does not now comply with its obligations and the other agreements it’s entered into, then this will be a matter that will be immediately referred to the I-A-E-A board of governors for action as appropriate under the various statutes. So that’s an important element, an element that we wanted to see in the resolution.”

Iran now says that it has complied with I-A-E-A demands for full disclosure of its nuclear programs. But Iran has pledged such cooperation in the past. And Iran is hedging on how long it will suspend its uranium enrichment activities, despite the fact that it has vast reserves of oil and natural gas and does not need nuclear power to supply its energy needs.

Iran is the most active state sponsor of terrorism, and a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat that the rest of the world cannot risk. That is why it is critical that other countries stay united on this issue. As President George W. Bush said, “It’s very important for the world to make it very clear to Iran that there will be universal condemnation if they continue with a nuclear weapons program.”