Brussels, Mar. 4 (NNN): The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has asked Pakistan to provide some nuclear-related samples to verify Iranís claim that traces of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) found at the Iranian nuclear installations came with the nuclear equipment imported from Pakistan, according to reports here.
"It is really important for us to get particle samples from Pakistan", ElBaradei said, "This really is the most important outstanding issue still in Iran...which really raises the question of whether these are just contamination through imports or a question of undeclared nuclear material."
The traces of weapon grade highly enriched uranium were found by the IAEA inspectors at the Kalaye Electric Company near Tehran and another Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz. Iran acknowledged that traces of highly enriched uranium had been found at its nuclear facilities, but contended that the source was contaminated equipment purchased from "another country".
ElBaradeiís statement indicates that Iranian leaders in their explanation now have told the UN agency that the equipment contaminated with weapon grade highly enriched uranium was supplied by Pakistan.
In response to a question ElBaradei, said, "The UN agency has urged Islamabad to provide particle samples to verify Iranís explanation that traces of enriched uranium found at sites in the country came from equipment imported from Pakistan".
It is worth mentioning here that Islamabad is under no legal obligation to provide Ďnuclear particle samplesí as requested by the IAEA as Pakistan has not signed/ratified the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Pakistan is also not subjected to comprehensive safeguards. The IAEA, however, hopes that Pakistan would send the required particle samples to Vienna soon.
ElBaradei came to Brussels on a short visit to attend a European Parliament Energy conference.
Speaking to reporters accredited at the European Union, he said that Iran was cooperating better with global Non-Proliferation efforts and the IAEA was confident that it would make good on a pledge to suspend uranium enrichment activities. He praised Iranís better co-operation with global Non-Proliferation efforts as a "sea change".
He gave full credit to Britain, France and Germany for persuading Iran to suspend its enrichment activities. "The Europeans try to cut this vicious circle by saying if you can build confidence over time we are ready to review our relations," ElBaradei said.