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9/8/04 - IRAN’S NUCLEAR VIOLATIONS - 2004-09-07

Iran has violated its safeguards agreement under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The U.S. will push the International Atomic Energy Agency, or I-A-E-A, to report Iran’s violations to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions. “Whether there is a consensus to do that now remains to be seen,” said Secretary of State Colin Powell. “But we think we've seen enough, the world should have seen enough over the last year to come to the conclusion that it's time for it to be referred to the Security Council.”

The U.S. is convinced that Iran is using its civilian atomic energy program to hide the development of nuclear weapons. “We are looking at a range of possible actions of a political, economic, and diplomatic nature and other measures that might be taken,” Mr. Powell said.

His comments followed news reports about a confidential I-A-E-A report on Iran’s nuclear program. According to news accounts, Iran now plans to process thirty-seven tons of raw uranium and restart the centrifuges that are used to enrich uranium for nuclear power plants and can be used to produce uranium for nuclear bombs.

John Bolton, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, said that the revelations “are further strong evidence of the compelling need to take Iran’s nuclear program to the U-N Security Council.” Mr. Bolton earlier warned about the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran:

“We cannot let Iran, a leading sponsor of international terrorism, acquire nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them to Europe, most of central Asia and the Middle East, or beyond.”

Mr. Bolton said that without “serious, concerted, immediate intervention by the international community,” Iran will be “well on the road” to acquiring nuclear weapons.