UN agency: Iran restarts nuclear work

The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has confirmed that Iran has restarted nuclear activities that had been mothballed under a deal with the European Union's three biggest powers.

    The IAEA board will hold a emergency meeting on Tuesday

    "IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei informed members of the (IAEA) board of governors that Iran today started to feed uranium ore concentrate into the first part of the process line at the uranium conversion facility," it said in a statement.

    "It should be noted that the sealed parts of the process line remain intact."

    Emergency meeting

    The IAEA board will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the escalating standoff over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

    Iran suspended all parts of its nuclear programme that could be used to produce enriched-uranium fuel for nuclear power plants or weapons under a deal it reached with France, Britain and Germany in Paris in November.

    The IAEA seals in the facility 
    have not been broken

    The EU trio, sharing Washington's suspicions that Tehran's nuclear programme is aimed at developing atomic weapons, has asked Tehran to give up all sensitive nuclear activities in exchange for economic and political incentives.

    Iran has refused, insisting its programme is aimed solely at the peaceful generation of electricity.

    Seals

    To monitor Tehran's compliance with the Paris agreement, the IAEA had sealed sensitive equipment at Iran's uranium conversion facility at Isfahan and its uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.

    Diplomats from the EU trio said the question of whether or not Iran had broken IAEA seals was a crucial one, as it would determine the severity of any violations of the Paris agreement.

    The Vienna-based IAEA said it has installed cameras at Isfahan to monitor Iran's renewed activities at the plant.

    "This activity was commenced following the installation today by the IAEA of cameras ... but regrettably prior to completion of the in situ testing of the cameras, which normally takes 24 hours following installation," the IAEA said.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.