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IAEA Report Shows Tehran's Nuclear Disclosures Not Satisfactory, says US - 2004-06-02


The United States says the latest nuclear report on Iran, drawn up by the International Atomic Energy Agency, provides more evidence that Tehran is keeping critical aspects of its nuclear weapons program secret.

The U.S. Ambassador to the IAEA, Kenneth Brill, says Iran is still stalling, providing last minute declarations and contradicting its earlier nuclear disclosures.

"Almost two years after the IAEA became aware of Iran's covert nuclear program and fully one year after the discovery of Iran's attempts to conceal their illicit work at the Kalaye Electric Company, delayed access, inconsistent stories and unanswered questions continue to be the hallmark of Iranian co-operation with the agency," he said. "Even a disinterested observer must now ask, what is it that the Iranians are so intent on hiding? Why do the Iranians want to shield their nuclear program from independent scrutiny? As more and more of their hidden work in the areas of enrichment and reprocessing comes to light, I think it obvious that this persistent refusal to fully co-operate fits a long-term pattern of denial and deception that can only be designed to mask Iran's military nuclear program."

Ambassador Brill says the IAEA continues to find new incriminating evidence of undeclared activity and says the list of outstanding questions is growing.

A report on Iran's nuclear program written by the head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, was circulated Wednesday to board members, including the United States. The report says investigators are not satisfied with Iranian explanations of the origin of some advanced nuclear equipment and the weapons-grade contamination found on it.

In addition the IAEA says Iran now admits it imported the centrifuges from Asia, contradicting its earlier statements that the equipment was produced domestically.

Ambassador Brill says Iran should follow Libya's example and confess its secret nuclear weapons program.

The IAEA board meets June 14 to decide whether further pressure should be put on Tehran to speed up cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

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