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.


Russia prepares retaliation against Turkey

Tunisia to rethink anti-IS strategy

Cameron pushes for Britain to join Syria air strikes

Erdogan denies buying oil from IS

Saudi women begin first-ever election campaign

Lavrov says no war with Turkey after 'planned provocation'

Tunisia under state of emergency

Missing Iranian diplomat found dead in Saudi

Heavy Russia raids at site of Syria plane crash

Tunisia declares state of emergency after terrorist attack in heart of capital

Bahrain calls HRW torture report 'misleading'

Syria, Russia foreign ministers set Moscow talks

Rival Libya tribes sign peace deal to end months of fighting

Turkey reveals new cabinet of Erdogan allies

Turkey downs Russia Su-24 fighter jet on Syria border

Hopes fade away as Sudan peace talks break without deal

At least 6 dead in Libya bomb attack

Somali pirates seize Iran fishing boat with 15 crew

ISIS suicide bombers kill four in assault on Sinai hotel

Kerry visits Israel with scant hopes for major breakthrough

Hollande heads to Washington to seek support for war on ISIS

Brussels extends terror alert as US issues worldwide travel warning

UAE blames Islamists for delay in military operation in Taez

Egypt kills 5 Sudanese migrants near border with Israel

Anti-Muslim hate crimes rise 300 percent in Britain

Russia eases restrictions on nuclear cooperation with Iran

Gulf leaders to hold annual summit on December 10

Ex-Gathafi Minister arrested over murder of UK policewoman

UK boosts military spending as pressure grows to join anti-ISIS strikes

Israel bars Palestinians from West Bank settlement bloc

Iraq suspends northern flights due to danger posed by Russia missiles

Syria army advances against ISIS in central province of Homs

Pro-Kurdish leader escapes assassination attempt in Turkey

Tunisia group claims beheading of young shepherd on behalf of ISIS

Kerry arrives in Abu Dhabi for Syria discussions

Three Palestinians killed as fresh violence hits West Bank

Iran arrests ISIS-linked cell near Iraq border

Brussels remains on high alert for second day in a row

Israel seeks to strip citizenship of those who join ISIS

France warns Libya as ISIS gains ground

Fear escalates as ISIS edges closer to Syria Christian town

Iran sentences reporter Jason Rezaian to prison

Egyptians vote in second phase of parliamentary elections

Assad grateful to Russia as army advances on ‘nearly every front’

Obama calls for resolve in face of terrorist threats