01/14/2008, 00.00
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Tehran promises the IAEA complete information on its nuclear programme

The information concerns the latest generation of centrifuges. The announcement comes after the visit of El Baradei, who was received with full honours by Iranian leaders. Meanwhile, both Bush and Sarkozy talk about nuclear energy in the Gulf on their visits to the region.

Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Iran is talking about a "new chapter" in its relationship with the agency for atomic energy that, for its part, is officialising an agreement to have, within one month, the "remaining information" from Tehran on the status of its nuclear programme. The declarations from the government of the mullahs and from the IAEA, which could help to defuse  the tension, come while American president George W. Bush and French president Nicholas Sarkozy are visiting the Gulf countries: the former arrives in the afternoon in Riyadh, from where the latter departed this morning.

The weight that Iran and the question of the use of nuclear energy have in the region are confirmed by the fact that both Western leaders have talked about it, although in completely different ways: Bush evoked the threat represented by the potential development of the technology by Tehran, which he accused of supporting international terrorism, while Sarkozy supported the right of Arab countries to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, the object of an agreement that will be signed tomorrow by Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates.

The agreement announced by the IAEA comes at the end of the visit that the director general of the UN agency, Mohamed El Baradei, made to Tehran, where he was received with full honours by the highest Iranian authorities, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The declaration from the IAEA talks about an agreement to increase "the remaining verification issues specified in the working plan". At issue is information on the new generation of centrifuges designed for the production of nuclear fuel, and viewed suspiciously by those who are afraid that the Iranian nuclear programme would be used for military purposes. El Baradei will use the results of the investigations to draft the report that he will present in March.

The official Iranian news agency IRNA, in an article entitled "New chapter opened for cooperation with the UN nuclear agency", refers to a declaration by Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, for whom El Baradei's visit permitted the discussion of "how to speed up cooperation" to resolve "the remaining issues".

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