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."

 

Assad, Russia press intense Aleppo assault

Saudi king unveils austerity drive

Clinton, Trump clash in fiery first presidential debate

Morocco finally adopts Amazigh as official language

Saudi petition seeks 'full' rights for women

Russia tries to strongarm US with Aleppo assault

Jordan vows crackdown on online incitement

Iran's Ahmadinejad says will not run for president

Boris Johnson dismisses Erdogan goat poem as 'trivia'

Turkey dismisses 87 spy agency staff over failed coup

Egypt recovers sunken boat, more bodies

Israel's Peres 'fighting for his life'

Bombings kill at least seventeen in Baghdad

Netanyahu chooses diplomacy in US election

Iran sets conditions for joining terror finance taskforce

Who is the destroyer of Timbuktu shrines?

Assad, Russia opt for 'total war' in Syria

Israel to charge Lieberman party officials in graft probe

Egypt detains owner of capsized migrant vessel

Countless bombings in Baghdad’s Karrada since 2003 US-led invasion

Moroccan gets death threat messages over cartoon posted by killed Jordanian

Israel prosecutor general denies going easy on PM

Iran frees Iranian-Canadian academic

Supplies dwindle, strikes intensify in Syria's Aleppo

Rebels, civilians quit Homs under deal with regime

Oman court closes national newspaper, jails three journalists

Israel-US consortium signs $10 billion gas deal with Jordan

Closure of Palestinian pages sparks Facebook censorship fears

Morocco’s main secular party takes on ruling Islamists

British FM on key visit to Turkey

Ten Turkish soldiers killed in PKK attacks

Jordanians protest over writer's murder

Moniz says Washington has met its side of Iran nuclear deal

Coalition prefers final Yemen settlement to 'short' truce

Deutsche Welle sues Turkey over confiscated interview

Palestinians condemn Trump vow on Jerusalem

Iran conservatives advise Ahmadinejad to stay out of election

Moscow slams 'unacceptable' UN statements on Syria

Yemeni forces kill suspected Qaeda chief

Bulgaria court error delays trial over Hezbollah bombing

Oil prices rise modestly ahead of OPEC meeting

Qatari official banned from AFC vote

Trump says he'll recognize Jerusalem as Israel's 'undivided' capital

US, Russia split on Syria’s Aleppo carnage

Death toll from Egypt migrant shipwreck jumps to 168