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US: Iran Must Address Nuclear Arms Suspicions

  • VOA News

FILE - Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Reza Najafi attends a news conference at the headquarters of the IAEA in Vienna, December 2013.
A U.S. envoy told Iran Wednesday it can expect substantial relief from sanctions choking its economy only if it clears up suspicions that it worked on nuclear arms. But Tehran said claims that it did so are "baseless."

Joseph Macmanus told the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board that clearing up suspicions Iran may have worked to design nuclear weapons "will be critical" to any final accord meant to give Tehran full final sanctions relief.

Tehran denies wanting - or working on - such weapons, and Iranian IAEA delegate Reza Najafi said Wednesday his country does "not recognize" the allegations.

In a significant advance for the IAEA's inquiry into Iran's nuclear research, Tehran agreed last month to address one of many topics the U.N. agency wants answers on - fast-acting detonators that can be used for nuclear explosions.

While this was welcomed by Western officials at the closed-door session of the IAEA's governing board in Vienna, though, they made clear the Islamic Republic must do much more.

Iran and six world powers now are working on a comprehensive deal that highlights sanctions relief in exchange for an agreement by Tehran to substantially scale back nuclear programs that could be turned toward making a bomb.

Also Wednesday, Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard said it had acquired missiles with multiple warheads, the latest armaments advance to be claimed by the Islamic Republic.

At a ceremony in Tehran, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan presented a delivery of four types of ballistic missiles - the Qiam, Qadr H1, Fateh-110 and Persian Gulf. He said the Qadr H1 and Qiam are equipped with multiple warheads, greatly boosting their destructive power.