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IAEA Releases Report on Iran Nuclear Issue
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Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei sent his report on Iran's compliance with demands that it halt sensitive nuclear fuel work, to the 35-nation Board of Governors as well as to the UN Security Council, diplomats at IAEA told Xinhua on Thursday.

ElBaradei said in his report that Iran had refused to suspend its uranium-enrichment related activities as demanded by the UN Security Council.

In the eagerly awaited report, ElBaradei also said that due to the Islamic republic's lack of cooperation, IAEA was still unable to make further progress in its efforts to verify fully the past development of Iran's nuclear program.

Furthermore, the report confirmed that Iran had already installed two cascades of 164 centrifuges in its Natanz enrichment plant, to expand research-level enrichment into industrial scale, and it is said another two cascades were close to completion in Iran.

"It has also continued with the construction of the Fuel Enrichment Plant, including installation of cascades, and has transferred UF-6 to the plant," said the report.

And it also said that without more cooperation and transparency from the Islamic republic, the IAEA will be unlikely to realize the peaceful goal in the future.

As soon as received the widely expected report, the United States voiced disappointment on Thursday, and White House national security spokesman Gordon Johndroe said "we are disappointed that Iran has not complied with resolution 1737."

Earlier in the day exactly before the report was released, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during his official visit in Vienna that he was "deeply concerned that the Iranian government did not meet the deadline set by the Security Council."

And he emphasized that "the Iranian government should fully cooperate with the Security Council" as soon as possible.

Moreover, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that the international community would continue to press Iran to stop its nuclear activities.

"We reconfirmed that we will use our available channels and the Security Council to try and achieve that goal," Rice was quoted assaying after a breakfast meeting in Berlin with the foreign ministers of Germany and Russia and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

However, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad pledged on Wednesday that his country would continue its nuclear program, in defiance to the due UN deadline for Tehran to suspend its uranium enrichment.

"The enemy is making a big mistake if it thinks it can thwart the will of the Iranian nation to achieve the peaceful use of nuclear technology," Ahmadinejad was quoted by state TV's Web site as saying Wednesday ahead of the 60-day deadline.

The Security Council Resolution 1737 adopted last December 23 gave the Islamic republic 60-day deadline to halt enrichment or face additional measures, such as further financial sanctions and tougher travel ban.

(Xinhua News Agency February 23, 2007)

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