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Iran rejects IAEA concerns

Iran rejected concerns brought up in a new IAEA report to the state's nuclear program

AFP , Saturday 26 Feb 2011
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Views: 1420

Iran on Saturday rejected concerns expressed in a new report by the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, raising concerns about a possible military dimension to its nuclear programme.

"The important point is that the full detailed report regarding all our nuclear activities show full supervision by the IAEA and no deviation to prohibited ends," the state news agency IRNA quoted Iran's envoy to the agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, as saying.

"For the 26th time, the IAEA confirmed the peaceful nature of our nuclear programme," Soltanieh insisted.

In a restricted report, the watchdog said on Friday that Iran was still refusing "to discuss a number of outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to its nuclear work."

Tehran insists its programme is entirely peaceful.

But Western governments suspect it is cover for a weapons drive and have compiled evidence that it was involved in weaponisation studies -- work which included uranium conversion, high explosives testing and the adaptation of a ballistic missile cone to carry a nuclear warhead -- at least until 2003.

Iran has dismissed the evidence as "fabricated" and refused to discuss the "alleged studies" any further.

Nevertheless, "additional information ... has come to the (agency's) attention since August 2008, including new information recently received" that prompted "further concerns," the IAEA report said.

"Iran is not engaging with the agency in substance on issues concerning the allegation that Iran is developing a nuclear payload for its missile programme," the report said.

Iran is under four sets of UN sanctions for pursuing its controversial uranium enrichment programme despite repeated Security Council ultimatums to freeze it.

Soltanieh also took the opportunity to dismiss the UN resolutions against Iran, saying they "have no legal basis and so cannot be implemented."

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