Iran’s confirmation that it has resumed research on nuclear fuel this week has drawn angry criticism from the West.
Europe and the US have threatened to refer Tehran to the UN Secruity Council for possible sanctions if it continues.
Mohammed El Baradei heads the International Atomic Energy Agency said: “I am running out of patience, the international community is running out of patience. The credibility of the verification process is at stake.”
He is asking Iran to prove its programme is for peaceful purposes, and be open with the rest of the world.
“My understanding is that they want to go for mechanical testing of some centrifuges that does not involve nuclear materials,” El Baradei added.
Germany, which together with Britain and France has been leading attempts to persuade Tehran to abandon uranium enrichement.
German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier complained that resuming enrichement activities “would breach the agreements that we made in Paris with France, Great Britain and Iran itself. That cannot be left without consequences. We will discuss it with our colleagues from France and Great Britain this week, by Thursday at the latest.”
Iran denies it is trying to make nuclear weapons, and insists it only wants to enrich uranium to the levels needed to generate electricity.