World powers express 'deep concern' on Iran

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Vienna, Nov 17: World powers today overcame differences at the UN atomic watchdog with a resolution of "deep" concern about Iran's nuclear programme but set Tehran no deadline, as the IAEA chief proposed a visit.

A resolution lodged at the International Atomic Energy Agency by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, the P5+1, "expresses deep and increasing concern" about Iran's activities.

But to assuage Chinese and Russian misgivings, it sets no deadline for Iran to respond, requesting instead agency head Yukiya Amano to report to the IAEA board in March on Tehran's "implementation of this resolution."

Amano said at the start of the meeting that he had written to Iran on November 2 proposing a "high-level" visit to Tehran, saying "clarifying all outstanding issues was in the interests of Iran, and other countries."

He told reporters: "The information we have received in the past three years has given us a clearer picture of Iran's nuclear programme. We now have more pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. "It is clear that Iran has a case to answer."

The resolution, seen by AFP and expected to be approved by the 35-nation IAEA board of governors tomorrow, said it was "essential for Iran and the Agency to intensify their dialogue."

It calls on Tehran "to comply fully and without delay with its obligations under relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council." It expresses "continuing support for a diplomatic solution, and calls on Iran to engage seriously and without preconditions in talks aimed at restoring international confidence." 

AFP

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