January 22, 2008 / 6:49 PM / 12 years ago

Timeline of Iran's nuclear program

(Reuters) - World powers agreed on Tuesday on the contents of a new draft sanctions resolution against Iran that European countries will present to the U.N. Security Council in the coming weeks, Germany’s foreign minister said.

Here is a chronology of events since it emerged that Iran was carrying out sensitive work that it could use to make atomic bombs. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful energy generation.

August 2002 - The exiled opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran reports the existence of uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and heavy water plant at Arak.

December 2002 - The United States accuses Iran of “across-the-board pursuit of weapons of mass destruction”.

June 2003 - An IAEA report, after February inspection of Natanz and Arak, says Iran has failed to comply with nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

November 2004 - Iran promises EU negotiators it will suspend all nuclear fuel processing and reprocessing work.

September 2, 2005 - IAEA report confirms Iran has resumed uranium conversion at Isfahan.

January 10, 2006 - Iran removes U.N. seals at Natanz enrichment plant and resumes nuclear fuel research.

February 4 - IAEA votes to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council. Iran ends snap U.N. nuclear inspections the next day.

February 14 - Iran restarts small-scale feeding of uranium gas into centrifuges at Natanz after two-and-a-half year suspension.

April 11 - Iran announces it has produced low-grade enriched uranium suitable for use in power stations; IAEA confirms.

June 5 - EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana delivers a package of incentives from world powers if Iran agrees to halt uranium enrichment.

August 31 - IAEA announces Iran has not met a deadline to suspend its atomic fuel program.

December 23 - Security Council votes for sanctions and gives 60 days to suspend enrichment. Iran calls the resolution illegal.

March 24, 2007 - The Security Council unanimously approves further arms and financial sanctions against Iran.

April 18 - IAEA says Iran has begun making nuclear fuel in its underground uranium enrichment plant.

May 23 - A confidential IAEA report says Iran has not suspended enrichment-related work.

Aug 21 - Iran and the IAEA say they agreed a timeline for answering outstanding questions about Iran’s nuclear program.

Oct 20 - Saeed Jalili is named to replace chief nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani, who resigned.

Oct 24 - The U.S. imposes new sanctions on Iran and accuses Revolutionary Guard of spreading weapons of mass destruction.

Nov 2 - Britain, France, Germany, the U.S., Russia and China agree to push ahead with a third round of tougher sanctions.

Nov 15 - IAEA says Iran has made important strides towards transparency but remains unable to ascertain that Iran does not have a secret, parallel military enrichment program.

Nov 30 - The EU expresses disappointment after more talks with Iran’s main nuclear negotiator in London. World powers meeting in Paris the next day fail to decide on more sanctions.

Dec 3 - A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate says Iran put its bid to build a nuclear bomb on hold in 2003 and it remains on hold. Iran welcomes the report the next day.

Dec 5 - Ahmadinejad declares victory over the U.S. and IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei says Iran has been “somewhat vindicated”.

Dec 11 - The opposition NCRI says that Iran did shut down its program in 2003 but restarted it a year later. The group says a recent U.S. analysis gives the wrong impression that the program is not an urgent threat.

Jan 11-12, 2008 - ElBaradei makes a rare visit to Tehran to push for swifter cooperation in wrapping up the IAEA inquiry into its nuclear program. ElBaradei also tried to impress on Iran the need to permit wider inspections.

Jan 13 - IAEA says that Iran has agreed to resolve remaining questions about its secret nuclear work within a month.

Jan 22 - World powers agree on contents of new draft sanctions resolution that European countries will present to the U.N. Security Council in the coming weeks. A senior U.S. official said the new resolution foresaw travel bans and asset freezes as punitive measures for Iran’s sensitive nuclear program.

Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit

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