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UN Nuclear Watchdog Says Iran Cooperation Agreement May Be "Last Chance"


The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency says a cooperation agreement reached with Iran last month may be that nation's last chance to clear the air about its nuclear ambitions.

International Atomic Energy Agency director Mohammed Elbaradei tells the German weekly magazine, Der Spiegel, that Iran has - for the first time - agreed to a timetable to resolve lingering questions about its nuclear program. He calls this a hopeful, positive sign.

Elbaradei tells the magazine that by November or December, it should be clear whether Iran is sticking to its promises. He says if it fails to do this, Tehran is missing a great chance - perhaps its last.

The United Nations already has imposed two sets of sanctions against Iran, and the United States is seeking another Security Council sanction resolution on Iran.

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of seeking to build atomic weapons under the cover of a civilian program. Iran denies the charge and says its program is for peaceful purposes.

In a report earlier this week, the Vienna-based IAEA said that once Iran's past nuclear activities have been clarified, the country will need to continue to build confidence about the scope and nature of its present and future nuclear programs.

Iran is reported to have resolved questions with the IAEA about its tests with plutonium. Highly enriched uranium and plutonium can be used to make nuclear weapons.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.