Iran tells IAEA to remove surveillance cameras, agency seals from nuclear sites

Iran has told the International Atomic Energy Agency to remove surveillance cameras and agency seals from sites and nuclear equipment that go beyond minimal commitments to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty by next week, the IAEA said Monday.

In a confidential report to the IAEA's 35 board member nations dated Monday and obtained by The Associated Press, agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Iran also announced a sharp reduction in the number and kind of inspections IAEA experts will be allowed, effective immediately.

The move was expected. Iranian officials had repeatedly warned that they would stop honoring the so-called "Additional Protocol" an agreement that gives IAEA inspectors greater inspecting authority if the IAEA board referred their country to the U.N. Security Council, which the board did Saturday.

A diplomat close to the Vienna-based IAEA the U.N. nuclear watchdog told the AP that Iran had also made good on another threat, formally setting a date for resuming full-scale work on its uranium enrichment program, which can make either fuel or the nuclear core of warheads.

The diplomat, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about agency business, refused to divulge the date set by Ali Larijani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, in a letter received Monday by ElBaradei.

In his brief report, ElBaradei cited E. Khalilipour, vice president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as saying: "From the date of this letter, all voluntarily suspended non-legally binding measures including the provisions of the Additional Protocol and even beyond that will be suspended."

Calling on the agency to sharply reduce the number of inspectors in Iran, Khalilipour added: "All the agency's containment and surveillance measures which were in place beyond the normal agency safeguards measures should be removed by mid-February 2006", reports AP.

O.Ch. 

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Author`s name: Editorial Team