IAEA board meets to mull latest negative Iran report
Diplomats gathered Monday at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to mull the agency's last Iran report which spelled out concerns about possible ongoing nuclear weapons work, DPA reported.
The blunt report by new IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, as well as reactions to it in the IAEA's governing board this week, could be a first step towards additional UN sanctions against the Islamic republic, diplomats said ahead of the meeting.
Amano also made clear in the document that Iran has not been fulfilling the demands of the UN Security Council on halting uranium enrichment and on granting full access to IAEA inspectors.
Instead, in February Iran started to enrich uranium to a higher level than previously, all but rejecting the IAEA's bconfidence- building proposal to carry out this work in Russia and France.
The 35 countries on the board were not expected to pass a resolution on Iran, but to defer further decisions to the Security Council in New York.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized the IAEA on Sunday for writing reports that lacked independence from world powers such as the US, according to ISNA news agency.
His remarks referred to the fact that the IAEA's information on possible nuclear weapons development in Iran stems from a number of Western intelligence agencies.
However, Amano said in his report that the information was "broadly consistent and credible" in terms of technical details, time lines and involved Iranian entities.
Amano, who succeeded Mohamed ElBaradei in December, was scheduled to address the 35 countries represented in the board on Monday, with the actual debate on Iran starting later in the week.