Annan urges Iran to come clean on nuke issue

Iran Materials 23 June 2006 15:12 (UTC +04:00)

(IranMania) - Iran and North Korea must do more to allay fears that they are seeking or have nuclear weapons, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said, AFP reported.

In a speech to the UN Conference on Disarmament, Annan also urged nuclear-armed countries to shore up the increasingly-fragile Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is meant to control the spread of such weapons, reports Trend.

Iran is facing increasing pressure to suspend uranium enrichment to prove it does not seek atomic weapons.

Iran, which is a member of the NPT, counters that its programme simply seeks to develop civilian nuclear power.

But Tehran, Annan said, needs to prove that it by cooperating with the UN International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Iran, for its part, needs to enable the IAEA to assure the world that its nuclear activities are exclusively peaceful in nature," Annan said.

North Korea, which is currently threatening to test a long range missile, threw out IAEA weapons inspectors and withdrew from the NPT in 2003.

Last year, it declared itself a nuclear weapons state.

Despite an initial deal, it announced late last year that it was boycotting six-nation talks on its nuclear programme.

"The impasse on the Korean Peninsula is especially disappointing," Annan said, noting that it had damaged efforts to obtain "a verifiable denuclearization of the Peninsula."

"I hope the leaders of the DPRK will listen to what the world is telling them, and take great care not to make the situation on the Peninsula even more complicated," he said, using the official acronym for North Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.