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Vienna Dispatch: Nuclear Watchdog Says Iran Still Refusing to Come Clean About Weapons Program

VIENNA – The director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a UN-affiliated watchdog organization, criticized Iran today for its continued refusal to fully cooperate with the agency’s investigation into Iran’s nuclear program. The investigation is to formally determine whether Iran’s nuclear program is to be used to supply military weapons, as has been long suspected by Western intelligence services, rather than merely for civilian use, as Iran alleges.

According to Reuters:

IAEA director general Yukiya Amano made clear the agency was still far from satisfied.

“Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures,” he told a meeting of the U.N. agency’s 35-nation board of governors.

He was referring to two steps that Iran had agreed to carry out by late August, by providing information to the IAEA concerning allegations of explosives tests and other activity that could be used to develop nuclear bombs.

“I call upon Iran to increase its cooperation with the agency and to provide timely access to all relevant information, documentation, sites, material and personnel,” Amano said.

Similar language was used in a confidential IAEA document that was leaked three weeks ago. The document noted that Iran has failed to answer key questions about its past nuclear history, and has repeatedly refused to issue visas to certain IAEA inspectors.

Amano’s comments were given at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna, the same city where negotiations over the nuclear program are underway between Iran and the P5+1 nations – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, and Russia. Earlier this week, the American representative to the IAEA said that the U.S. was “disappointed” in Iran’s continued refusal to cooperate with the IAEA’s requests and inspections.

The terms of last year’s Joint Plan of Action (.pdf), which is set to expire November 24, called on Iran to “work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present issues of concern” in conjunction with the P5+1 nations.

[Photo: IAEA Imagebank / Flickr ]