Meeting ends amid efforts to deny Iran nuclear help22/11/2006 - 11:55:50
A 35-nation meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog agency abruptly adjourned today, as participants tried to bridge differences over a request by Iran for technical help in building plutonium-producing a reactor, diplomats and officials said.
The disputes surfaced despite general agreement that Tehran’s call for assistance for its Arak research reactor should be denied.
France and other Western nations were calling for the request to be struck from a list of hundreds of technical projects from members of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Developing countries in turn were calling for mention of the Arak project as a footnote to the list of approved projects, noting that no decision had been reached – effectively leaving open the possibility of approval at a later date, said the diplomats and a UN official.
While the argument focused on technicalities, it reflected the highly charged atmosphere of the meeting, a committee of the IAEA reviewing technical aid requests for a decision tomorrow by a full assembly of the agency’s board.
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