Accessibility links

French Foreign Minister Urges Iran to Cooperate with IAEA - 2003-09-30

The French foreign minister says Iran must cooperate fully with international inspectors by the October 31 deadline or face possible U.N. sanctions.

Speaking to reporters, Dominique de Villepin urged Iran to comply with the request of the International Atomic Energy Agency and sign an additional protocol to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty by the end of October. He said he delivered the same message to Iran's foreign minister.

The protocol would expand the list of facilities subject to international inspection and allow IAEA scientists to make full inspections on short notice.

Iran stands accused of maintaining a secret nuclear weapons program, which Tehran has repeatedly denied. Iran said Monday it would give international inspectors access only to declared facilities, raising doubts about the full scale of its nuclear program.

Mr. Villepin said Iran must meet the October 31 deadline that the IAEA imposed or face possible sanctions.

Mr. Villepin said if Iran does not meet the October deadline, then the IAEA board of governors will have to decide whether to refer the matter to the United Nations Security Council. He said it would be up to the international community to decide if sanctions should be imposed on Iran

Head of the atomic agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, told reporters IAEA inspectors, who are expected to arrive in Tehran later this week, must be given full and unlimited access to all nuclear sites.

The European Union also has stepped up the pressure on Iran, threatening to curtail its trade with Tehran if it rejects tougher international inspections.