UN report expected on Iranian nuclear programme

World powers today worked on a response to Tehran’s defiance of a UN Security Council ultimatum on mothballing its uranium enrichment programme.

With Tehran showing no signs it had met the council’s deadline on an enrichment freeze, the UN nuclear watchdog finalised a report to be released later in the day.

Officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency said the report – by Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the Vienna-based agency – would say that Iran had expanded enrichment efforts instead of freezing them, a conclusion that could trigger tougher UN sanctions against Tehran.

Once released, the report will be sent to the agency’s 35-nation board and to the UN Security Council, which – in setting the deadline – had said any enrichment related activities past yesterday could lead to sanctions in addition to those imposed last month.

In Berlin, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice planned to confer with Russian and other European diplomats on the next steps in a joint Iran strategy.

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