Report fuels nuclear programme fear

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The UN nuclear monitoring agency said 'recently received' information is adding to concerns Iran may have worked on developing nuclear arms

The UN nuclear monitoring agency said “recently received” information is adding to concerns Iran may have worked on developing nuclear arms.

At the same time, a report by the organisation – The International Atomic Energy Agency – noted that Tehran continues to stonewall its attempts to follow up on that information, which points to possible experiments with components of a nuclear arms programme.

The report also said conversion work of uranium ore to the gas from which enriched uranium is made remained idle for the 18th month, indicating a possible shortage of the raw material on which Tehran’s nuclear programme is built on.

A new intelligence report from an IAEA member country said Iran is expanding its covert global search for raw uranium.

It divulged a secret visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Akbar Salehi last month to uranium-rich Zimbabwe in search for the metal.

Iran denies any shortage, but the intelligence assessment is line with international assessments that Iran’s domestic supplies cannot indefinitely sustain an expanding nuclear programme.

An annex to the confidential IAEA report listed “the outstanding issues which give rise to concern about possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme”.

It included design work on a nuclear payload; experiments with explosives that could detonate such a payload and other work that could be linked to making weapons.

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