Brussels - The European Union on Friday threw its diplomatic weight behind the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), saying that it was gravely concerned by Iran's refusal to cooperate with IAEA inspectors of its nuclear programme.
The EU "deplores" the fact that Iran has refused to suspend nuclear activities and shares the "grave concern" of IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei that Iran "is not answering questions relating to possible activities linked to the design and building of nuclear weapons," a statement on behalf of the 27-member bloc said.
On Monday ElBaradei reported that Iran is continuing to expand its uranium enrichment programme while obfuscating UN efforts to verify the nature of the country's nuclear ambitions.
He also said that the agency had new information relating to past Iranian nuclear weapons-related studies, but had had no cooperation from the latter in clarifying their details.
The EU's statement thanked the IAEA team for their report and called on Iran to suspend nuclear activities.
Javier Solana, the EU's top foreign-policy official, is currently responsible for leading negotiations with Iran on the nuclear issue on behalf of the UN's five veto powers - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - and Germany.
In June Solana presented Tehran with a package of proposals aimed at defusing the nuclear crisis. No agreement has yet been reached, but the EU statement said the bloc still supports the proposals. (dpa)
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