EU Parliament urges Iran improve human rights

The European Parliament on Thursday said Iran must comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and improve its human rights record or remain without a cooperation and trade agreement with the European Union.

In a resolution, EU lawmakers urged Iran to suspend all of its uranium enrichment activities, including tests in its Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan, and resume talks with Britain, France and Germany to cool suspicions about its nuclear agenda.

Iran restarted uranium conversion, a precursor of enrichment, in August, effectively ending the talks with the EU toward a wide-ranging trade and cooperation agreement.

Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency passed a resolution warning Tehran it would be referred to the U.N. Security Council unless it allayed fears about its nuclear program. The EU lawmakers gave their "full support" to the resolution.

According to diplomats close to the IAEA, Iran signaled it was ready to discuss several demands by the U.N. nuclear agency, including access for IAEA inspectors to sites suspected of being linked to possible work on nuclear weapons. The diplomats demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media about the sensitive negotiations.

The IAEA wants to interview military officials thought to be associated with what Iran says is a purely civilian nuclear program. The agency is also asking for documents linked to its uranium enrichment program.

The U.N. agency has conducted a nearly three-year investigation to test Iran's assertions that more than 18 years of clandestine nuclear activities first discovered in 2002 were geared solely toward generating power, reports the AP. I.L.

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