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Iran Accuses US of 'Lying' About Nuclear Weapons - 2004-09-16


An Iranian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency says that satellite images supposedly showing military nuclear sites in Iran are "American lies." The IAEA board of governors is still considering what to do about Iran's nuclear program.

Seyed Hossein Mousavian, Iran's chief delegate to the IAEA, on Thursday angrily rejected claims that new satellite photos show a military complex at Parchin, near Tehran, to be a site for the testing and production of nuclear weapons.

The United States is suspicious that Iran is testing high explosives at Parchin. Mr. Mosavian said there was no basis for U.S. concern and that Iran was doing all that was asked of it by the IAEA. "First of all we completely, categorically deny any nuclear activities in Parchin. Americans, again, they are lying because the IAEA have never asked for inspections and because they have claimed we rejected the inspections of the IAEA and the IAEA up to now they have never asked for inspections," he said.

Mr. Mousavian accused the United States of deliberately using misinformation to embarrass Iran at IAEA hearings. He said at an earlier IAEA meeting, the United States produced satellite images for a demolished site at Lavisan, where, he said, there had never been any nuclear activity. "This is the routine behavior of the Americans in every board of governors meeting, they raise such issues, like last time they raised Lavisan, this time Parchin," he said.

Iran says the Lavisan Physics Research Center, set up in 1989, was used for training in case of a nuclear attack. This year satellite photos showed the site was razed to the ground and whole buildings had disappeared.

Iran told the IAEA the site was demolished because of a dispute between Tehran City Council and the ministry of defense but refused to give details of equipment used there for security reasons.

The IAEA took environmental samples from the site, but only after the topsoil had been removed from the site by Iranian authorities. The United States says this shows Iran is deliberately trying to cover its tracks about the true nature of its nuclear ambitions.

The IAEA board of governors is expected to pass a resolution later this week that will keep up international pressure on Iran to disclose detailed information on its nuclear program, which it had kept secret from the world for decades. If Iran doesn't provide the information, it faces possible referral to the United Nations Security Council.

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