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UN atomic chief urges Iran to cooperate in probe of past activity

The EU warns that failure to disclose information on possible military dimensions of nuke sites could prevent deal

Yukia Amano, director-general of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, speaks at the Brookings Institute. (Screen capture: YouTube)
Yukia Amano, director-general of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, speaks at the Brookings Institute. (Screen capture: YouTube)

The UN atomic watchdog chief called Monday on Iran to increase its cooperation with a probe into alleged nuclear weapons activity, a key part in a hoped-for historic deal with world powers.

The International Atomic Energy Agency “remains ready to accelerate the resolution of all outstanding issues,” agency head Yukiya Amano told a regular meeting of the IAEA’s board of governors in Vienna.

“This can be realized by increased cooperation by Iran and by timely provision of access to all relevant information, documentation, sites material and personnel in Iran,” Amano said, according to the text of his speech.

The IAEA, which conducts regular inspections of Iran’s declared nuclear facilities, will have a beefed-up role if negotiators can finalize a framework deal by a June 30 deadline.

The framework deal was struck by Iran and the “P5+1” — the US, China, Russia, France, Britain and Germany — on April 2 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

But the IAEA also wants Iran to answer claims that before 2003, and possibly since, its nuclear program had “possible military dimensions” — which in other words means conducting research into making a nuclear weapon.

The Islamic republic rejects the allegations as being based on faulty intelligence provided by Iran’s enemies to a gullible and partial IAEA, saying its nuclear activities are peaceful and have always been so.

Earlier Monday, the European Union urged Iran to cooperate with the UN investigation of past military activity, and said Tehran’s refusal to disclose the information could torpedo the emerging deal.

An IAEA probe into the “PMD” claims has been stalled since last August, although the IAEA’s latest report on Iran released in May said that Tehran had “shared some information” on one area.

Western powers say that advancing the investigation is a vital part of the hoped-for June 30 deal, which would see Iran scale down its nuclear program in return from relief from sanctions.

A statement from Iran and the six powers in Lausanne said that under the final accord, the IAEA would “be permitted the use of modern technologies and will have enhanced access through agreed procedures, including to clarify past and present issues.”

Amano said Monday that clearing up the allegations is “possible within a reasonable timeframe if Iran implements the measures envisaged” in Lausanne.

He also said that Iran’s implementation of the Additional Protocol of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty would “significantly increase the agency’s ability to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in the country.”

In Lausanne Iran undertook to join around 120 other countries in applying this protocol, which will give the IAEA additional access to sites — including military bases — where it suspects there may be nuclear material not declared by Iran.

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