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US Warns Against Iranian Retreat From Nuclear Promise - 2003-11-03

The United States said Monday that any Iranian retreat from its promise to fully disclose its nuclear activities to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, would be "gravely troubling."

The statement followed comments by Iran's supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warning that "excessive demands" by the international community might prompt Tehran to end cooperation with the IAEA.

Iran last month promised the visiting foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany that it would suspend production of enriched uranium and accept stricter international inspections of its nuclear sites. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said any pull-back from those commitments would be of serious concern. "Threats from Iran to end such cooperation, rather than give the IAEA full access to and answers about its nuclear activities, would be gravely troubling and would further deepen the international community's concerns that Iran continues to have something to hide from the IAEA," he said.

Iran, which says its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful, has submitted a report to the IAEA on its program aimed at heading off possible U.N. sanctions. The United States has long believed Iran has a covert nuclear weapons program.