35 nations close to denying Iran help on reactor

Most participants at a key 35-nation meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog agency have agreed to deny Iran technical aid for its plutonium producing reactor, diplomats at the gathering said Tuesday. Speaking as an International Atomic Energy Agency committee meeting started its second day, the diplomats - all of them participants - said the tentative agreement foresaw approving Teheran's requests for IAEA aid on seven other nuclear projects but refusing its call for help in building the Arak reactor. The decision would be formally made on Thursday, once the committee looking at hundreds of requests for IAEA technical aid from member countries ends is work and the full board meeting begins. The chairman of that meeting would announce approval of all the projects except for Arak, said four diplomats, speaking independently and asking for anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the substance of the closed board meeting.