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Iran Accuses US of Espionage; US Says Iran Remains a Threat

By VOA News

Iran has accused the United States of using espionage to compile a report about Iranian nuclear activities.

The official news agency, IRNA, quotes Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying his government sent a protest letter to the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, complaining about the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate report published this week. The Swiss Embassy handles U.S. interests in the absence of U.S. diplomatic representation.

Mottaki is quoted as saying Iran is demanding an explanation for the alleged espionage.

The report says Tehran halted a nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Saturday in Bahrain, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Iran remains a threat to the Middle East and the United States. He told a security conference that countries in the Persian Gulf must work together to demand that Iran clear all ambiguities about its past nuclear activities and openly pledge not to develop nuclear weapons.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday in Brussels that the United States and other world powers have agreed to keep up pressure on Iran for refusing to stop enriching uranium - a process that can be used in developing nuclear weapons.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters that Moscow wants more talks in dealing with Iran's disputed nuclear program.

Iran has never acknowledged having a nuclear weapons program and says its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes only.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

... Payvand News - 12/08/07 ... --

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