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UN Nuclear Watchdog Wants To Send Delegation To Iran

Source: RFE/RL

Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said today that his agency would like to send experts to Iran to help "clarify the issues" raised in a recent IAEA report.

In the report released last week, the IAEA said it had "credible" evidence indicating Iran had worked to develop nuclear weapons technology.

"The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device," Amano said. "It also indicates that, prior to the end of 2003, these activities took place under a structured program and that some activities may still be ongoing."

Amano's comments came in opening statements at a two-day meeting of the IAEA's board of governors in Vienna. He said he had already written to Iranian officials to propose the visit.

"I wrote to Iran's vice president and president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Dr. Abbasi, on November 2, proposing to send a high-level team to Iran to clarify the issues outlined in the [report's] annex," he said.

Amano said he had asked Iran to engage substantively with the agency without delay, to "provide the requested clarifications regarding possible military dimensions to its nuclear program."

The Islamic republic has already rejected the IAEA report as baseless.

Media reports suggest that a draft IAEA resolution fails to set an ultimatum for Iran to allow an international probe of its alleged secret work on nuclear weapons. The resolution criticizes Tehran for its defiance.

Amano told the IAEA board that during the past three years his agency has obtained additional information about Iran's nuclear program. He says the IAEA now has a fuller picture of Iran's nuclear program and is more worried about its military dimensions.

"As Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation, including by not implementing its Additional Protocol," Amano said, "the agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities."

compiled from agency reports

Copyright (c) 2011 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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