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Powell pleased with Iran, but calls for more measures

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell

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(CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday that Iran "seems to be moving in the right direction" with its nuclear power program, but he said the nation must demonstrate that it is not using the technology to develop weapons.

"We can't be satisfied until Iran has demonstrated that all of the programs it had been pursuing have now been made known to the international community and they are now being brought to a halt," Powell told reporters at the European Union in Brussels, Belgium.

Iran has said its nuclear technology is intended for purely peaceful purposes.

The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) 35-member board of directors is set to meet Thursday to discuss steps that could include punitive measures by the United Nations Security Council if Iran is deemed in noncompliance with a September directive to stop all its reprocessing and enrichment activities.

Powell was asked about a draft resolution sponsored by Britain, France and Germany that does not refer to Iran's noncompliance or the Security Council.

"We have some reservations about the resolution drafted that we have seen, and we'll be in discussion with our European Union colleagues and other members of the IAEA as to whether or not the resolution is strong enough to convey to the world the difficulties we've had with Iran over the years," he said. "The fact of the matter is that Iran has been in noncompliance. It's a position the United States has taken for some time."

While he said he is "pleased Iran seems to be moving in the right direction now," it must be determined whether "Iran is cooperating fully and openly with the international community."

Powell said it "remains to be seen" whether the IAEA board can agree to a resolution on Iran.

EU Secretary-General Javier Solana said it is the organization's objective "to prevent Iran to go nuclear."

"We want to stop the enrichment process and we want to stop all the elements that can go into ... the development of nuclear capabilities for nonpeaceful means."

Last week, the IAEA released a 30-page report that detailed how Iran finally admitted to producing small amounts of low-enriched uranium and plutonium. But at the same time, the IAEA said there was "no evidence" that these previously undeclared materials were "related to a nuclear weapons program." (IAEA rejects criticism of its report)

One U.S. diplomat said that a "massive and covert Iranian effort to acquire sensitive nuclear capabilities make sense only as part of a nuclear weapons program."


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