UN nuclear watchdog suspects Iran of hiding information

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The United Nations nuclear watchdog said in a report on Monday that Iran's lateness in admitting to a second uranium enrichment site raises concerns that it may be hiding further information on nuclear facilities.

The United Nations nuclear watchdog said in a report on Monday that Iran's lateness in admitting to a second uranium enrichment site raises concerns that it may be hiding further information on nuclear facilities.

Iran admitted to the existence of an enrichment site near the city of Qom in September, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors granted access to the facility the following month said construction was at an advanced stage.

"The agency has indicated [to Iran] that its declaration of the new facility reduces the level of confidence in the absence of other nuclear facilities under construction and gives rise to questions about whether there were any other nuclear facilities not declared to the agency," the report said.

According to the report, Iran told the IAEA that it had begun building the facility in 2007, but inspectors believe that the project began in 2002, was paused in 2004, and resumed in 2006.

Iranian state media said the new report shows that the country has been providing accurate information on its nuclear program.

Press TV said the report "moved to allay Western fears about Iranian nuclear activities, confirming that the Agency carried out a thorough examination of Iran's under-construction Fordo facility."

The official IRNA agency said earlier on Monday that Iran could agree to a UN-brokered deal to send its uranium for processing to Europe if it first receives enriched uranium for its research reactor.

The agency quoted presidential adviser Parviz Davoudi as saying that Iran wants to receive 20%-enriched uranium for its sole operating reactor in Tehran before sending low-enriched uranium to Russia and France to be turned into fuel as proposed in the October deal.

The Islamic Republic, in the center of an international dispute over its nuclear ambitions, has said it wants more talks on the deal. Tehran has demanded fuel delivery guarantees and said it would like to buy enriched material directly under UN supervision.

In a bid to rescue the deal, the IAEA has suggested Iran could store enriched uranium for use at Iranian atomic power plants in a neutral country, Turkey. Turkey has agreed to the proposal.

VIENNA, November 16 (RIA Novosti)

 

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