President Bush says the international community must convince Iran to give up what he says is the country's secret nuclear weapons program. Diplomats say U.N. inspectors have found traces of weapons-grade uranium at a second site inside Iran.
Diplomats at the International Atomic Energy Agency say U.N. inspectors found traces of highly enriched uranium at an electricity plant west of Tehran that the Iranian government had previously said was a non-nuclear facility.
Earlier this year, U.N. inspectors found particles of weapons-grade enriched uranium at a plant about 250 kilometers south of the capital. Responding to that finding, Iran said the material may have already been on the equipment when it was purchased outside the country.
President Bush says he discussed Iran's nuclear program with many of the heads of state he met in New York this week and will continue that focus in weekend talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "It is very important for the world to come together to make it very clear to Iran that there will be universal condemnation if they continue with a nuclear weapons program. And I will tell you the response was very positive," he went on to say. "People understand the danger of the Iranians having a nuclear weapons program. You bet I will talk to President Putin about it this weekend."
The U.N. wants Iran to allow tougher inspections of its nuclear facilities and has given the country until the end of October to prove that it is not running a secret nuclear weapons program.
Iran says it is only using nuclear material to generate electricity. Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrzai told the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday that Iran will not abandon its uranium enrichment program because it is only for civilian purposes.
The IAEA will consider a report on the state of Iran's nuclear program at its next board meeting November 20th. It may then refer the case to the U.N. Security Council which could recommend economic and political sanctions.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan stressed that Iran is running out of chances to avoid U.N. action over its nuclear program. "This is one last chance for Iran to comply, and if it doesn't, we believe it should be reported to the Security Council," he said.
Iran says it will cut back its cooperation with the U.N. nuclear agency because it argues the October 31 deadline is politically motivated.