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IAEA Inspectors in Iran to Verify Nuclear Report


The International Atomic Energy Agency says its inspectors are spending this week in Iran, checking the accuracy of Tehran's account of its nuclear activities.

The IAEA is going through a 200-page file submitted last week. Iran says it is the complete history of its nuclear program. IAEA spokesman, Mark Gwozdecky, said senior inspectors are in Iran going through everything in the report.

"None of the declaration do we take at face value," said Mr. Gwozdecky. "Everything has to be checked out and corroborated independently by us, and so they will be doing inspections at places where the enrichment program was developed; they are going to be doing inspections, probably interviews as well and sampling. They will probably be doing the same at the laser-enrichment, at the uranium-conversion facilities."

Mr. Gwozdecky said the team will return to Vienna on Sunday.

The United States told the September meeting of the IAEA board of governors that Iran has often tried to mislead the agency by giving it false information. The board passed a resolution giving Iran until the end of October to provide the U.N. nuclear watchdog with a full and accurate nuclear declaration.

The IAEA says it has not yet received a letter from Tehran confirming it will sign a legal agreement to allow tougher inspections, but this was not a part of the October 31 deadline. The agency says, Tehran can send the letter anytime before the next IAEA board meeting at the end of November.

Tehran said last week it would suspend its uranium-enrichment program in exchange for nuclear technology from Britain, France, and Germany. Iran has not suspended the program, and diplomats say the government may want concrete details of compensation first.

The IAEA board of governors can refer Iran's nuclear program to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions if Tehran fails to dispel suspicions it is secretly building nuclear weapons.

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