Learning of Iran’s plans to resume research and development on its suspended “peaceful” nuclear energy programme, the head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has reminded Tehran that it should maintain its suspension of all enrichment-related activities.In a formal note to the Vienna-based Agency on Tuesday, Tehran said that it would recommence research and development on 9 January, re-starting a programme which had been temporarily halted “as part of its expanded voluntary and non-legally binding suspension.”IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei informed the Agency’s Board of Governors of Iran’s planned resumption of certain R & D activities, while his staff is seeking clarification from the Government on the implications of the decision.In a statement, Mr. ElBaradei, a recent Nobel Peace Laureate, stressed that the IAEA Board expects Iran to maintain its suspension of all enrichment-related activities as a key confidence-building measure.While acknowledging the right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of all States, including Iran, to the peaceful use of nuclear technology, he “continues to call on Iran to take the steps the IAEA requires to resolve outstanding issues regarding the nature of Iran’s nuclear programme,” the statement said.Dr. ElBaradei also called on Iran to take voluntary measures to build confidence, and enable the resumption of dialogue with all concerned parties.

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