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Signaling its growing
concern over Iran's nuclear noncompliance, the Board of Governors of the
International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, has passed a resolution on Iran
for the first time in nearly four years. The resolution noted with serious
concern that Iran began construction of a new uranium enrichment facility at
Fordo, located near Qom, in violation of relevant United Nations Security
Council resolutions. The facility was built without prior notice, in violation
of Iran's safeguards agreement.
The resolution urged Iran to immediately halt its construction, and criticized
Iran for continuing to defy previous resolutions which require suspension of
all uranium enrichment-related activities. The resolution underlined the fact
that Iran's declaration of the Fordo facility reduces the level of confidence
about whether there are any other undeclared nuclear facilities under
construction in Iran.
This resolution, said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs in a statement,
"demonstrates the resolve and unity of the international community with
regard to Iran's nuclear program. It underscores broad consensus in calling
upon Iran to live up to its international obligations and offer transparency in
its nuclear program." The fact that twenty-five countries from all parts
of the world, including all five permanent members of the UN Security Council
and Germany -- the P5+1 --supported the resolution, shows, said Mr. Gibbs,
"the urgent need for Iran to address the growing international deficit of
confidence in its intentions."
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The United States strongly supports outgoing IAEA Director General Mohamed
ElBaradei's proposal to provide Iran fuel for its Tehran Research Reactor -- a
proposal intended to help meet the medical and humanitarian needs of the
Iranian people while building confidence in Iran's intentions.
The United States recognizes Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy and
remains willing to engage Iran to work toward a diplomatic solution to the
concerns about its nuclear program, if --and only if -- Iran chooses such a
course. To date, Iran has refused a follow-on meeting to the October 1st
meeting with the P5+1 countries if its nuclear program is included on the
"Our patience," said Press Secretary Gibbs, "and that of the
international community is limited, and time is running out. If Iran refuses to
meet its obligations, then it will be responsible for its own growing isolation
and the consequences."