Iran not in the clear if UN report partly good-U.S.

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VIENNA, Nov 14 (Reuters) The United States signalled today that partial Iranian cooperation with UN nuclear investigators would not be enough to stall steps towards a third round of sanctions against Tehran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is due to deliver a report later this week on Iran's compliance with a pledge to defuse suspicions it has a covert atom bomb programme.

In a gesture aimed at slowing momentum towards sanctions, Iran has turned over a blueprint showing how to mould uranium metal into spheres to fit into nuclear warheads, fulfilling a key demand in a four-year-old IAEA inquiry, diplomats said.

But the blueprint alone does not resolve outstanding questions about the nature of Iran's programme which Tehran says aims only to produce electricity not armaments.

Gregory Schulte, U.S. envoy to the IAEA, said the agency's 35-nation board of governors and Security Council members would not be content to ''see a little bit more information here, a little more there'' from Iran.

''Selective cooperation is not good enough,'' he told reporters at the U.N. watchdog's Vienna headquarters.

''When we read this report and evaluate Iran's cooperation, the standard we will look for is full disclosure and also a full suspension of their proliferation-sensitive activities.'' The IAEA board meets next week.

Iran may not have granted IAEA access to workshops or Iranian officials for interviews to corroborate key information, according to diplomats monitoring the hush-hush inquiry.

Six world powers agreed in September they would have the UN Security Council vote on wider sanctions unless reports by the IAEA and the EU's top diplomat showed Iran had come clean on its programme and was moving to suspend it.

NO NUCLEAR SUSPENSION ON HORIZON The European Union's Javier Solana is widely expected to confirm in his report on recent talks with Iran that it remains unwilling to consider a suspension.

Some Vienna-based diplomats said the IAEA report could cite just enough new examples of Iranian cooperation for Russia and China to argue for further postponement of sanctions to allow more time for IAEA inquiries to work.

''The IAEA report won't be too bad for the Iranians,'' said a European diplomat accredited to the IAEA.

''The end result will make it very difficult for the six (powers) to speak in one voice on the next steps, because the report may be enough to satisfy some, but not satisfy others.'' Russia and China, which wield a veto in the Security Council, want to preserve strong trade links with Iran and say isolating it could risk war.

''The start of talks between Iran and IAEA is bringing some results,'' Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference during a visit to Slovenia on Wednesday.

Referring to the imminent IAEA and EU reports, he said: ''We all have to concentrate on a positive approach ... rather than on various announcements, prognoses, etc.'' Agency Director Mohamed ElBaradei, keen to extract full Iranian cooperation to stave off sanctions he fears could lead to a US-Iran war, has said he wants major issues settled by the end of this year.

REUTERS PY VC2130

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