First Published: 2009-09-06

 
Iran's alleged weapon studies in IAEA's spotlight
 

Tehran accuses US of offering 'forged' intelligence on bomb studies of Iranian nuclear programme.

 

Middle East Online

'No credible evidence of link between such forged claims and Iran'

VIENNA- Allegations that Iran was experimenting to make a nuclear bomb will take centre stage at the UN atomic watchdog's week-long autumn meeting, beginning Monday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-member board of governors will convene for its traditional September meeting.

At the same time, Iran says that Washington's intelligence on the alleged weaponisation studies is forged.

"The government of the United States has not handed over original documents to the agency since it does not in fact have any authenticated document and all it has are forged documents," Iran's envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh wrote in a confidential letter to IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei.

"Considering that there are no authentic documents on these alleged studies, there is no credible evidence of link between such forged claims and Iran."

And Soltanieh accused "the ambassadors of the United States, France and the United Kingdom ... of ill will and political motivation".

Iran has repeatedly dismissed the allegations as "baseless" and the evidence used to back up the charges as "fabricated".

In any case, it was "more important to concentrate energy on" what the IAEA has already presented, a senior western diplomat said.

In his latest report on the IAEA's six-year investigation into Iran's controversial programme, ElBaradei complained that one of the main sticking points remains Tehran's refusal to cooperate on the issue of the so-called alleged studies.

"Regrettably, the agency has not been able to engage Iran in any substantive discussions about these outstanding issues for over a year," ElBaradei stated in his latest report.

Iran nevertheless saw the new report as "positive", saying it testified to "the new approach of the Islamic republic."

The report did indeed note a reduction in the number of centrifuges actively enriching uranium at the enrichment plant in Natanz and Tehran's agreement to tighter monitoring at the plant.

Furthermore, Iran has also granted UN inspectors access to a research reactor in Arak.

The IAEA board will also hear allegations -- made first by Israel and more recently by France -- that ElBaradei is holding back key parts of his report on Iran.

A foreign intelligence said that the paper in question was a "thick document".

But a number of other diplomats, as well as sources within the IAEA, were sceptical whether such an annex really existed.

And ElBaradei has called the nuclear threat from Iran "hyped."

Iran insists it has the right to develop nuclear technology, which it says is aimed at generating energy for its growing population.

Israel is the only country in the Middle Ease that actually has nuclear weapons.

Observers say due the strong Jewish and pro-Israel lobbies in the US and some European countries, these countries have taken a hypocritical stance in relation to nuclear issues in the region.

Tehran had repeatedly protested against Israeli war threats, warning that it would retaliate in the event of any strike against Iran.

 

17 killed in fatal Cairo building collapse

Syrian air strikes on Raqa kill 63 civilians

UN chief calls for halt to Libya air strikes

Death toll rises from Morocco flash floods

Lebanese diva Sabah passes away

Egypt nabs five Salafist leaders

Essebsi leads Tunisia presidential vote

Paris pushing for 'safe zones' in war-torn Syria

New air strike hits Tripoli’s sole operational airport

Pentagon chief steps down

Saudi seeks to ‘knock out’ shale oil competitors from oil market

Yemen troops free 8 hostages from Al-Qaeda

Italy hails Egypt as 'strategic partner'

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff

Egypt leader heads to Italy

Morocco arrests six over online IS allegiance pledge

Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists

Southern Morocco storms claim eight lives

Marzouki, Essebsi set for runoff in Tunisia presidential vote

Biden wraps up Turkey visit without breakthrough on Syria

Sudan launches investigation into claims of 'mass rape' in Darfur village

Assad urges ‘real pressure’ on backers of 'terror'

Israel eyes powers to revoke rights of Arab residents

Iraq death sentence to ex- PM threatens to damage ties with powerful tribe

Iran hardliners resist possible nuclear deal in rare protest

After failure of boycott, Bahrain Shiite opposition resorts to accusations

Tunisia votes for president in first free and multi-candidate election

Hope for change and stability as Tunisia prepares to elect new president

Saudi detainee sent home as US speeds up Guantanamo repatriations

Economy and security top agenda of Sisi’s first European tour

Benghazi attack report clears Obama administration of serious charges

Voters bet on stability in crucial Bahrain elections

Hurdles remain high as Iran and world powers press on for nuclear pact

Shebab ‘revenge’ attack leaves 28 innocents dead in Kenya

Strains between Washington and Ankara despite declared agreement

Paypal teams up with AttijariWafa Bank to boost Morocco exports

UN begins sending winter aid to Iraq

Turkey launches all-out war against bonzai drug

Turkey to build bridge across Dardanelles to ease traffic

IS launch major attack on Ramadi

Biden: You cannot think free where you cannot challenge orthodoxy

Does Abbas have enough political influence to stop violence in Jerusalem?

Turkey offers military assistance to Iraq