Monday, August 15, 2005

Iran says has new nuclear proposal as IAEA meets

The U.N. nuclear watchdog held a crisis meeting on Tuesday to try to stop Iran pursuing a nuclear programme after Tehran resumed work at a uranium plant, stoking Western fears it was bent on developing atomic weapons.

As the governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met in Vienna, Iran's new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he had new ideas to resolve the nuclear standoff with the West and was ready to continue nuclear talks with the EU.

"I have new initiatives and proposals which I will present after my government takes office," he said in a telephone conversation with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, the semi-official ISNA students news agency reported.

He added that Iran -- which says it is only seeking nuclear power -- had done nothing unlawful by resuming uranium conversion at a nuclear facility near Isfahan on Monday.

A senior Iranian delegate to the Vienna meeting said U.N. seals were to be removed at Isfahan which could allow it to take the work a step further.

Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, said IAEA inspectors surveying developments at the plant would unseal a mothballed section by Wednesday.

"The agency has promised us it will remove the seals by noon (0830 BST) on Wednesday because the installation of cameras has been completed," he told Reuters.


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