Iran appoints nuclear panel

02 October 2003
Tehran has appointed a five-member committee to work on nuclear policy in the run up to the 31 October International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) deadline, reported the local media on 2 October. The team is expected to discuss whether an IAEA delegation, which is due to arrive in Tehran on 2 October, will be granted additional access to sites. The members of the team are Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Kharrazi; Information Minister Ali Yunessi; Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani; National Security Council Secretary Hassan Rowhani; and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's adviser for international affairs Ali Velayati.

The IAEA has given Tehran until the end of October to prove it is not pursuing a nuclear weapons programme, an allegation the government strongly denies. However, the discovery in late September of a second site contaminated by enriched uranium near Kalaye has led to increased criticism from the international community. The EU has warned Iran that it must comply with IAEA demands or face almost certain sanction. Iranian ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Abkar Salehi said Iran might fall into line with demands if the international community recognises that Iran has a right to continue its nuclear programme for peaceful purposes (MEED 30:9:03).

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