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    Nuclear power plant in Bushehr (Iran)

    Iran threatens to cut contacts with IAEA

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    Iran will cut contacts with the UN nuclear watchdog if it passes a resolution condemning its uranium activities, the country's ambassador to the IAEA said on Thursday.

    Iran will cut contacts with the UN nuclear watchdog if it passes a resolution condemning its uranium activities, the country's ambassador to the IAEA said on Thursday.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency is to vote on a draft resolution reflecting concerns about Tehran's second uranium enrichment facility - disclosed in September - and its reluctance to agree to the UN-brokered compromise on nuclear fuel for its power plants. The vote is expected to take place before the weekend.

    "If the IAEA Board of Governors passes the resolution on Iran, the Islamic Republic will cut to a minimum its cooperation with the agency," Ali Asghar Soltanieh said, as quoted by the Fars news agency.

    Speaking at a session of the 35-nation board of governors on Thursday, the IAEA chief said his inquiry into allegations that Iran seeks to build nuclear weapons is at "a dead end" as Tehran is not cooperating.

    "There has been no movement on remaining issues of concern which need to be clarified for the agency to verify the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program," Mohammed ElBaradei said. "We have effectively reached a dead end, unless Iran engages fully with us."

    ElBaradei also expressed disappointment that Iran has not so far agreed to the plan to ship the bulk of its low-enriched uranium abroad for processing into fuel, which would ease international concerns that it uses the material to make bombs.

    The latest draft resolution was proposed by Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia and the United States, the six nations involved in a long-running nuclear dispute with Iran.

    Tehran is already under three sets of UN sanctions for refusing to halt uranium enrichment. Iran insists it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity, claiming the right under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

    Russia and China have so far blocked UN Security Council votes on tougher sanctions against the country. However, at a meeting in Brussels last week they joined the other negotiators in voicing dismay at a lack of progress in the negotiations.

    The draft resolution urges Iran to prove the absence of more undeclared nuclear facilities, to put the second uranium enrichment center on hold, and give the IAEA access to full information on its nuclear activities.

    MOSCOW, November 26 (RIA Novosti)

     

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