35-nation board of IAEA to focus on Iran nuclear standoff

The US has expressed confidence that a 35-nation meeting will urge Iran to fall in line with UN Security Council demands and suspend uranium enrichment as well as open its nuclear programs to full international scrutiny. Gregory L. Schulte, the chief delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency, spoke on the eve of a two-day meeting starting Thursday of the organization's 35-nation board. The gathering will focus on a report by agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei giving Iran relatively mixed marks on its cooperation with an IAEA probe of past suspicious nuclear activities. The report found that Teheran continues to ignore a central Security Council demand - freezing its enrichment program, a potential pathway to nuclear arms. The report went to the Security Council last week as part of information meant to help its five permanent members decide on further action. The United States, Britain and France are pushing for new UN sanctions over Teheran's nuclear defiance.