The International Atomic Energy Agency has criticized Iran for hiding nuclear activities, but put off sending the matter to the United Nations
Iran reacted angrily to the resolution, saying the United States had imposed its will on the board.
The U.N. atomic watchdog sharply reprimanded Iran on Saturday for withholding sensitive nuclear information, in a resolution that diplomats said left
open the option of U.N. sanctions if Tehran did not cooperate.
Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rohani, angrily denounced the resolution by the International Atomic Energy (IAEA), telling the official IRNA
news agency it was "like an ugly demon with dangerous horns and sharp teeth."
Iranian officials also acknowledged that expectation of the resolution was part of why they called an abrupt halt on Friday to U.N. inspections -- a
move the United States, which says Iran is trying to build an atomic bomb, called "very troubling."
The resolution by the IAEA Board of Governors "deplores" Iran's omissions of sensitive atomic technology from an October declaration -- including
undeclared research on advanced "P2" centrifuges that can make bomb-grade uranium.
It said the board would decide in June how to respond to the omissions -- a clause that several diplomats said keeps the door open for a possible
report to the U.N. Security Council and economic sanctions.
The passing of the resolution followed a week of intense haggling over a toughly-worded text drafted by Australia and Canada and backed by Washington.
European and non-aligned states, Russia and China wanted milder wording.
A compromise was struck after the U.S.-led camp agreed to soften some language, although U.S. ambassador Kenneth Brill said it remained a strong
warning to Tehran.
"This information calls for Iran to provide proactive cooperation instead of having information dragged out of it," he told reporters after the
"DECEPTION AND DELAY"
In remarks prepared for delivery in the closed-door meeting, Brill said "Iran...is continuing to pursue a policy of denial, deception and delay."
"Is it possible that, even as we meet, squads of Iranian technicians are working at still undeclared sites to tile over, paint over, bury, burn or
cart away incriminating evidence so that those sanitized locations can finally be identified to the agency as new evidence of Iran's full cooperation
and transparency?" he asked.
Related ATSNN stories
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- UN Nuke Watchdog Rejects Iran's Call to Close Case
- Israel Cracks Iran Code. Reveals Iran's Nuclear Program
[Edited on 13-3-2004 by Zion Mainframe]