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IAEA Encouraged by Iranian Intentions to Provide Full Nuclear Details - 2003-10-21

The International Atomic Energy Agency says it is encouraged by the news that Iran intends to provide full details of its nuclear activities in order to prove that its program is purely peaceful.

Iran signaled that it is prepared to sign a legal agreement, known as an additional protocol, allowing for tougher U.N. inspections. The news followed talks in Tehran with the foreign ministers of Germany, Britain, and France who have offered Iran the prospect of sharing modern technology.

Iran also said it would suspend a controversial uranium enrichment program as requested by the IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said words must now be matched with action. "Today's news is an encouraging sign towards clarifying all aspects of Iran's past nuclear program as well as regulating its future activities through inspections, through verification. The director general [of the IAEA] ElBaradei hopes and expects that in the next few days Iran will deliver to the IAEA a complete declaration of all past nuclear activities as well as an official notification of its intentions to conclude an additional protocol," she said.

Ms. Fleming said there are still big, open questions concerning Iran's uranium enrichment program.

The agency wants Iran to give as much information as possible on the suppliers of components and equipment that were found contaminated with particles of highly enriched uranium.

The IAEA has given Tehran until the end of October to prove that it is not working on a secret nuclear-weapons program.