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Iran Pledges Cooperation with International Nuclear Inspectors - 2003-09-15

The United States secretary of energy says Iran must answer outstanding questions concerning the nature of its nuclear program, as required by the International Atomic Energy Agency and its international obligations.

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham says Iran has consistently refused to collect and convey information on its nuclear ambitions.

Mr. Abraham gave full support to the IAEA resolution passed last week calling for Iran to make a full disclosure on its nuclear program by the end of October and suspend its reprocessing activities.

Iranian vice president. and president of the country's atomic organization, Reza Aghazadeh told delegates at the IAEA general conference that his government objected to what he called the "venomous language" of the resolution.

Mr. Aghazadeh said the resolution against Iran was aimed at diverting attention from domestic problems in the United States. He went on to say questions could be raised concerning Israel's nuclear arsenal.

But Secretary Abraham said talking about Israel was a red herring [diversion].

"That is an effort to change the subject from the obvious and that is that there has been a clear pattern of actions taken in secret to develop capabilities that obviously can be used for evil purposes, for the development of weapons," he said.

Mr. Abraham said the resolution on Iran reflected a strong feeling by the international community that states cannot opt [choose] in or out of their obligations at whim.