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IAEA Chief: Iran Wants Nuclear Equipment Exemptions - 2004-11-25


The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is insisting that some of its uranium enrichment centrifuges be exempt from a freeze on its nuclear program.

Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters in Vienna on Thursday that he will tell the IAEA board Iran has frozen most of its uranium enrichment activity, except for 20 centrifuges. He said Iran wants to exempt those 20 centrifuges from the freeze.

Iran's new request is a partial reversal of a recent agreement with the European Union to suspend all enrichment activity. Western diplomats have indicated that Iran's request will not be acceptable to the EU.

Iran's official IRNA news agency says the Islamic republic is working with the Europeans to work out an acceptable compromise.

The IAEA board is meeting to decide whether to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions over its nuclear program.

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