The draft makes no mention of punitive measures should Iran resume uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to develop nuclear weapons, which Tehran suspended as of Monday.

   

The draft on Monday called on Iran to sustain the suspension and said the UN agency's chief should report immediately to the agency's governing board should the agency encounter evidence that the suspension was not fully implemented.

   

Washington accuses Iran of using its nuclear power programme as a front to build a bomb and wants it reported to the Security Council, which has the power to impose sanctions. Tehran insists its programme is entirely peaceful.

   

The draft, which the trio prepared on behalf of the European Union, noted "strong concern that Iran's policy of concealment has resulted in many breaches of Iran's obligations to comply with its NPT Safeguards Agreement".

 

Concern

   

The NPT is the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Tehran signed in 1970.

   

The draft text expressed "concern Iran has continued conversion activities, including the production of UF6, in spite of the request made by the [IAEA] board in September."

   

Iranian suspension to be
verified, says al-Baradai

On Friday news that Iran was making large amounts of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas - the form of uranium that is fed into centrifuges to purify it for use as fuel in power plants and weapons - caused several diplomats on the IAEA board to question Tehran's good faith regarding the enrichment freeze.

 

Iran apparently suspended uranium enrichment as promised on Monday and the IAEA should be able to verify this by Thursday, the UN watchdog's chief Muhammad al-Baradai told reporters in Vienna.

  

"I think pretty much everything has come to a halt right now so we are just trying to make sure that everything has been stopped," al-Baradai said.

  

"Hopefully by Thursday I should be able to report that we've verified the suspension," he added.

  

Iranian state television said the government would suspend its sensitive nuclear activities surrounding the enrichment of uranium in line with an agreement with Britain, France and Germany.