Posted March. 08, 2005 22:46,
President Bush urged on March 7 punishment for countries that desert the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and strengthening the power of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
We cannot allow rogue states that violate their commitments and defy the international community to undermine the NPT`s fundamental role in strengthening international security, he said in the written statement released by the White House.
Though the statement does not contain specific examples of rogue states, it seems that the president has Iran and North Korea in his mind.
For international norms to be effective, they must be enforced, said Bush. The IAEA must have the tools it needs to do its work, especially universal adherence to the Additional Protocol, he said. The protocol stipulates that IAEA inspection teams should have free access to the nuclear facility of signatories.
Meanwhile, Iran for the first time confirmed that it built a uranium-enrichment facility underground in Natanz, the central part of Iran, to protect against the possible danger of an aerial attack.
Ali Akbar Salehi, a nuclear affairs adviser to the foreign minister, said that it was U.S. and Israeli threats that forced the Natanz nuclear facilities, including a string of centrifuges used to enrich uranium, to be built underground. He also insisted that the facilities are intended only for the generation of electricity.