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Terrorism & Security

Iran promises to come clean on its nuclear program

It says it will provide answers to remaining questions to the IAEA within four weeks.

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Following the talks, Iran wants the Security Council to hand its nuclear case back to the IAEA, reports Iranian Press TV.

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While Iran has addressed queries about its nuclear activities in the past, including explanations for its plutonium experiments, it has yet to address questions about its current activities, reports Reuters. "The IAEA wants Iran to observe its additional protocol, which permits short-notice inspections at locations beyond declared nuclear sites.... Without it, the IAEA cannot verify that Iran's nuclear work is wholly peaceful."

The New York Times reports that Iran's promise is the latest of many such pledges.

The announcement essentially delayed for another month what had been an end-of-the-year deadline to disclose all of its nuclear work, including any covert or undeclared military research.
Over the past year and a half the Iranians have repeatedly made declarations that they would answer outstanding questions within a week, but each of those deadlines has passed with only partial answers offered.

Meanwhile, President Bush continued to criticize Iran about its purported nuclear ambitions, saying on Sunday from Abu Dhabi that Tehran "defies the UN and destabilises the region by refusing to be open and transparent about its nuclear programs and ambitions," reports Al Jazeera.

Calling Iran the "world's leading state sponsor of terror", he urged Arab states to join with the US to confront the danger "before it's too late".

Israel's prime minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that Israel would reject " 'no options' to block Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons." That may be the clearest indication yet that Mr. Olmert is willing to use military force against Iran, reports the Associated Press.

Just before President Bush arrived in Saudi Arabia, a leading Saudi newspaper "ruled out any attempt by the United States to use the oil-rich Gulf kingdom as a launchpad for a possible war on Iran over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme," reports Agence France-Presse.

"This issue can be solved through diplomatic means and through dialogue," said the paper, which reflects the views of the Saudi authorities.
Bush on Friday began a four-nation Gulf tour as part of a Middle East trip to push for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians and to rally the support of his allies in the Sunni Muslim oil monarchies against the "threat" he says is posed by Shiite Muslim Iran.
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