Iran's Nuclear Program Tops Agenda at UN Watchdog Conference

Week-long conference will discuss the Islamic Republic's suspected nuclear weapons program; will also adopt nuclear safety guidelines following Japan accident.

The dangers of nuclear technology were at the center of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board meeting that started Monday in Vienna, with the lessons from the Fukushima disaster and Iran's nuclear program high on the agenda.

The 35-country board of governors is scheduled to discuss the latest IAEA report on Iran, which registered increasing concern about the possibility that the Islamic Republic is working on nuclear weapons.
Iran's recent willingness to open some facilities for IAEA inspectors could make it harder for Western diplomats to lash out at Tehran.

iaea - AP - June 12 2011

The start of the board meeting coincided with the planned inauguration of Iran's first nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

The board is set to adopt an action plan on nuclear security during the week-long meeting that is based on a first analysis of the Japanese nuclear accident.

The document aims to improve existing international safety guidelines and national accident prevention measures, and increasing the number of international safety inspections.

But a number of mostly European countries are expected to criticize that the plan is too weak, as the United States and other powerful countries have successfully lobbied to keep it legally non-binding, according to diplomats.