“I support the Agency’s continuing efforts to strengthen international safeguards – in particular, to promote conclusion of Additional Protocols by Iran and other states, and to encourage other countries to conclude safeguards agreements with the Agency,” Mr. Annan said in a message to the 47th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.On Friday, the IAEA gave Iran a 31 October deadline to cooperate and grant unrestricted access, including environmental sampling and unannounced, on-the-spot inspections under an additional protocol in order to corroborate Tehran’s renunciation of nuclear weapons following its earlier failure to report certain materials and activities.”I call for the early resumption of the Agency’s safeguards activities in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” Mr. Annan said in the message, delivered on his behalf by the Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, Nobuyasu Abe.Last Monday, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said the situation in the DPRK, which withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) early this year and has been reported to have said it would develop nuclear weapons, continued to pose a “serious and immediate” challenge to the nuclear non-proliferation regime. Voicing the hope for achieving adherence to comprehensive safeguards by all countries, including in the Middle East and South Asia, Mr. Annan added: “I also share the conviction of many that efforts in the field of nuclear non-proliferation must be complemented by progress in the field of nuclear disarmament – an issue in which the Agency has an abiding interest.”Advances in these various areas would significantly reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism, as would further progress in the Agency’s efforts to ensure the safety and security of nuclear facilities and prevent the illicit trafficking of nuclear material and radiation sources,” he declared. read more