- Nov 22, 2003
Not of course stopping or anything, but sounds a bit more than another nasty letter:
AEA halts aid on projects with Tehran
By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer 31 minutes ago
The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Friday suspended nearly half of the technical aid it now provides Iran, in line with sanctions imposed on the country for its refusal to suspend uranium enrichment.
As IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei issued the report to his agency's 35-nation board, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator abruptly canceled meetings both with ElBaradei in Vienna and with senior European leaders in Munich, on the sidelines of a security conference in the German city.
Organizers of the Munich conference said negotiator Ali Larijani canceled because of an unspecified illness, whereas IAEA officials said they were told he was not coming for "technical reasons."
"The official explanation is that he got sick," said Horst Teltschik, the Munich conference organizer.
Larijani's meetings with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Javier Solana, the chief foreign policy envoy for the European Union would have been the first with senior Western officials since negotiations with Solana collapsed last year over Tehran's refusal to suspend enrichment, a potential pathway to nuclear arms.
The Vienna-based IAEA already suspended aid to Iran in five instances last month in line with Security Council sanctions calling for an end to assistance for programs that could be misused to make atomic weapons. Diplomats emphasized that the freeze was temporary and subject to review and approval by the 35-nation board of the IAEA next month.
On Friday, the agency fully or partially suspended another 18 projects that it deemed could be misused. Those too were subject to review and approval by the board.
Iran gets IAEA technical aid for 15 projects and 40 more that involve other countries. The suspensions were across the board but in the case of projects involving other countries affected only Iran.