First Published: 2011-11-06

 

Iran to IAEA: Go ahead and publish 'counterfeit' report

 

Ali Akbar Salehi says crucial IAEA report on Iran's nuclear programme due in the next few days is based on ‘counterfeit’ claims.

 

Middle East Online

By Farhad Pouladi - TEHRAN

Salehi dares: IAEA documents are ‘baseless’

A crucial IAEA report on Iran's nuclear programme due in the next few days -- raised as a possible trigger for war by Israel -- is based on "counterfeit" claims, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in comments published on Sunday.

The update, expected to be released to International Atomic Energy Agency members on Tuesday or Wednesday, is believed to allege that Iran did theoretical modelling on nuclear warheads and is developing missiles to carry them, according to diplomats at the UN nuclear watchdog.

"I believe that these documents lack authenticity. But if they insist, they should go ahead and publish. Better to face danger once than be always in danger," several Iranian dailies quoted Salehi as saying.

His comments were made Saturday to media in Tehran during a visit by Burundian Foreign Minister Augustin Nsanze.

"We have said repeatedly that their documents are baseless. For example one can counterfeit money, but it remains counterfeit. These documents are like that," Salehi said.

He added: "Iran's nuclear issue (for the IAEA) is not a technical or a legal issue but entirely a political one. If (the IAEA) dealt with it purely as a technical or legal issue, then it would say everything about the issue was transparent."

Israel is seen as poised to seize on the report as justification for air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities, according to a storm of Israeli media speculation in the past few days.

Israeli President Shimon Peres warned late Saturday that an attack on Iran was "more and more likely" because of intelligence service fears that "Iran is ready to obtain the nuclear weapon."

Israel has already tested what its media described as a "ballistic missile" and held a major civil defence drill in the past few days -- although it insisted that neither move was linked to the reports of imminent war.

The IAEA update does not contain an explicit allegation that Iran's nuclear programme -- which Tehran maintains is exclusively for peaceful, civilian purposes -- is being used for military ends.

But one Western diplomat said in Vienna that "it will be an extensive body of evidence that will be very hard for Iran to refute as forgery, as they have done in the past."

IAEA head Yukiya Amano said in a September report he was "increasingly concerned" about the "possible military dimension" of Iran's atomic activities, calling information at the agency's disposal "extensive and comprehensive."

 

Russia ‘far from US positions’ on Syria

Arab summit in Mauritania cut to single day

12 killed in suicide bomb attack north of Baghdad

Turkey detains veteran female reporter

Iran destroys 100,000 ‘morally damaging’ satellite dishes

ISIS claims second German attack in a week

France calls for immediate humanitarian truce in Aleppo

Dozens dead in 5 days of Yemen fighting

Israel advances plans for 770 settlement homes

Libya conflict keeps 279,000 children out of school

After week of attacks, Germany warns of backlash against refugees

Iraqi charged with having 'trace' explosives in Poland

UN Syria envoy, US, Russian officials to hold talks Tuesday

Kuwait top court acquits IOC powerbroker Sheikh Ahmad

Air strikes, rebel fire kill 19 in Aleppo

Egypt policeman killed in Sinai attack claimed by IS

Turkey cracks down on journalists after coup

Syrian migrant blows self up near German music festival

ISIS suicide bomber kills at least 15 in northern Baghdad

Turkey readies first cross-party rally to condemn coup

Libya loyalists seize ISIS bomb factory in Sirte

Tunisia dissident, Mohsen Marzouk, opens new party congress

Air raids jeopardise much-needed medical care in Aleppo

Saudi delegation in Israel to promote stalled peace initiative

At least 61 people dead as ISIS claims twin blasts in Kabul

Iraq PM seeks to speed up death penalty implementation

Munich shooting had 'obvious link' to Breivik, not ISIS

EgyptAir flight broke up in midair after fire, evidence suggests

Palestinian village could soon cease to exist

Coalition warplanes strike Qaeda positions in southern Yemen

Turkey extends police powers, shutters over 1,000 private schools

Libya ‘NATO revolutionaries’ urge fight against French troops

Germany probes motives of 'lone' Munich mass killer

Russian warplanes targeted US, British outpost in Syria

Bodies of 14 'executed' people found in Libya's Benghazi

UN to help Turkey bolster tourism sector

France to supply weapons to Iraqi army

Turkey tensions fester in Germany

Israel official on first visit to Chad in 40 years

EU condemns 'unacceptable' Turkey purges

Iran stops 'terrorist infiltration' from Turkey

Moscow restarts air travel to Turkey

Assad says Erdogan is 'implementing his own extremist agenda'

Egypt's Sisi says 'serious efforts' made in Palestine peace process

43 civilians dead as regime bombards rebel-held areas in Syria