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UN Nuclear Chief Says Iran Progress Partial; New Sanctions Possible


A two-day meeting of the 35-member board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, aimed at discussing Iran's nuclear ambitions, concludes Friday in Vienna.

The head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, told the board Thursday that, despite increased cooperation from Tehran in key areas, the agency is still not able to confirm that Iran's nuclear drive is entirely peaceful.

Members are considering a report that credits Iran with progress in revealing details about its nuclear program, but also says Tehran continues to defy U.N. demands to stop uranium enrichment. That process can be used to make nuclear weapons.

Iran's envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said the agency's report showed Iran had been truthful about its nuclear course and warned against further sanctions.

But the IAEA report may determine whether the Security Council decides to impose a third set of sanctions on Iran, which Western nations accuse of seeking to covertly develop nuclear weapons. Iran says the nuclear program is peaceful.

Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said he would meet with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana around November 30 to discuss Tehran's willingness to comply with demands to suspend uranium enrichment.

Solana is due to report the outcome of his efforts to world powers by the end of this month.

But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday ruled out making any concessions to the West on Iran's nuclear program.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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