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Annan hopes for talks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions

Annan hopes for talks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions ahead of report to Security Council

With the head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) preparing to report to the Security Council on Iran, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today voiced hope that Tehran would resume talks on the issue in the coming weeks.

On Saturday, the Vienna-based IAEA Board of Governors adopted a resolution calling for Iran to renew its suspension of uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, which Tehran ended last month, and to take other steps relating to nuclear ambitions.

By asking IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei to report on the matter to the Security Council, the Board moved the issue for the first time to the 15-member body. Iran was requested to “extend full and prompt cooperation to the Agency, which the Director General deems indispensable and overdue, and in particular to help the Agency clarify possible activities which could have a military nuclear dimension.”

Commenting on this development in remarks to reporters at a press briefing in Dubai, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Mr. ElBaradei’s report is expected by the end of this month. “I hope in between Iran will take steps that would help create an environment and confidence building measures that will bring the parties back to the negotiating table,” he said.

The IAEA Board’s resolution passed by a vote of 27 in favour, with three against – Cuba, Syria and Venezuela – and five abstentions – Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya and South Africa.

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