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UNSC to consider Iranian nuclear issue Wednesday(05/03/06)


      The UN Security Council will begin May 3 considering Iran's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment activities as demanded by the UN organ in late March.

    "We'll be looking at it tomorrow and we'll see what action needs to be taken," council president for May, Ambassador Basile Ikouebe of the Republic of Congo, told a news briefing Tuesday, referring to the latest report presented by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    The report, sent to the council Friday, noted that existing gaps in knowledge about the program "continue to be a matter of concern" and stressed that any progress "requires full transparency and active cooperation by Iran."

    Ikouebe said the council was following with interest Tuesday's consultations on the Iranian nuclear issue in Paris among the body's five permanent members -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- plus Germany.

    He said the 15-nation council will decide later whether to summon IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei for talks.

    Earlier this year, the IAEA reported the matter to the council, which can impose sanctions, after ElBaradei had repeatedly reported that although the agency had not seen any diversion of material to nuclear weapons or other explosive devices, it was still not able to conclude that there were no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran.

    Iran insists its activities are solely for energy purposes but the United States and some other countries claim it is clandestinely seeking to produce nuclear weapons.

    Last August, Iran rescinded its voluntary suspension of nuclear fuel conversion, which can produce the enriched uranium necessary either for nuclear power generation or for nuclear weapons.




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