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."

 

Iraq PM plans to implement constitutional reform

Two Iraqi generals in Anbar suicide bomb attack

Syria regime, rebels agree new 48-hour truce for three towns

S.Sudan govt calls peace deal 'reward for rebellion'

Tehran's shoe-shine man in a red stiletto

Serbia, Macedonia urge EU action on migrants

South Sudan peace deal given cautious welcome

IS seizes five villages from rebels in Syria's Aleppo

Shebab gunmen ambush Somali army convoy

Muslims not doing enough to fight IS: Queen Rania

Lebanon charges radical Islamist Al-Assir with 'terrorism'

Qaeda group blows up Yemen army HQ in Mukalla

Palestinian rivals agree ceasefire in Lebanon camp

New migrant tragedy in Mediterranean: 40 people dead, 2,000 in danger

Saudi King to meet Obama next month on first trip to US as monarch

Turkey PM invites pro-Kurdish MPs into caretaker cabinet

Car bomb attack kills Syria opposition commander in Turkey

Arab League postpones meeting on joint military force

Erdogan sends clear message to voters: It’s either AKP or instability!

South Sudan leader meets regional leaders ahead of peace deal

Saudi Arabia ‘holding’ key suspect in 1996 Khobar bombing

Israel releases second group of migrants from desert facility

US military may have skewed reports on progress against ISIS

Aid groups launch joint call to end Gaza blockade

Qaeda in Yemen denies having held British hostage rescued by UAE

Europe fails to overcome divisions as refugee crisis accelerates

European ministers to discuss security measures after France train attack

ISIS claims bloody attack on Egypt security forces in Sinai

Saudi executes four despite moratorium call

Afghan mercenaries in Syria: Iran presses ahead with covert recruitment

Record numbers of migrants crossing into Hungary

Kuwait summons Iran envoy over disputed gas field

French prosecutors say train attack was 'targeted and premeditated'

Iran film premieres about prophet postponed

Assad 'confident' Russian will continue supporting his Syria regime

France sees Assad's 'neutralisation' as pre-condition for peace

Meeting of Lebanon cabinet ends with no solution to trash crisis

Anti-nuclear deal protest held outside Iran parliament

Turkey to hold snap elections on November 1

Illegal migrant workers in Britain may face up to six months in jail

Red Cross temporarily suspends operations in Aden

UN watchdog seeks to soothe concerns on Iran nuclear probe

Austria to deploy army in migrant crisis

Israel releases hundreds of migrants from desert detention centre

Three killed in Algeria flooding