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IAEA: Iran, Libya Violated Nuclear Treaty - 2004-03-08

The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran and Libya are both guilty of long-term violations of their obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Mohammed ElBaradei, director-general of the IAEA, told reporters in Vienna he would discuss violations by Iran and Libya during a meeting Monday of the U-N agency's board of governors.

A spokeswoman for the IAEA announced separately today that Libya has decided to sign an agreement giving U-N inspectors the right to conduct "intrusive" inspections of its nuclear facilities on short notice.

Libya admitted last year that it has been developing nuclear weapons in secret. Officials in Tripoli have promised to dismantle the program, under international supervision.

Before today's developments, Iran had called on the IAEA to complete its 13-month investigation of Tehran's nuclear program (on the grounds that Iran has taken steps to build confidence among members of the international community).

The head of Iran's security council, Hasan Rohani, said that Tehran expected the IAEA to close its files and confirm that Iran is developing nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has previously said that, despite Iran's promises to co-operate fully with the agency, inspectors discovered that Tehran possessed (unreported) components -- equipment that could be used to build nuclear weapons. The IAEA says it is still investigating how sensitive nuclear technology was sent to Iran, and who sent it.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.