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IAEA chief urges Iran to clarify outstanding nuclear issues


10:39, November 18, 2011

VIENNA, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Thursday urged Iran to clarify outstanding issues concerning some aspects of the country's nuclear program suspected of involving nuclear weapon-related technologies.

"I ask Iran to engage substantively with the Agency (IAEA) without delay and provide the requested clarifications regarding possible military dimensions to its nuclear program," Amano said while making the introductory statement to a meeting of the IAEA board of governors.

Amano said he had wrote to Iran's Vice-President and chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Fereidoun Abbasi, proposing to send a high-level team to the country to clarify the issues outlined in IAEA's recent report on the Iranian nuclear issue.

The IAEA mission will be headed by the Deputy Director of the IAEA Herman Nackaerts, Amano told the press after opening the board meeting.

Although there is still no time frame for initiating the dialogue, but a delay will be "inappropriate", said Amano.

Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a "nuclear explosive device", Amano said in the restricted report circulated to the board earlier this month.

Amano also said that throughout the past three years, the IAEA have obtained "additional information which gives us a fuller picture of Iran's nuclear program and increase our concerns about possible military dimensions".

Although Amano's report suggested that some suspected nuclear activities "may still ongoing", the paper stopped short of reaching a clear-cut conclusion on whether Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran has rejected the allegation in the report, accusing the United States of using the IAEA as a tool to pressure Iran over its "peaceful" nuclear program.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said his country was drawing up an in-depth technical response to show findings in the IAEA report are wrong.

A resolution on the Iranian issues is expected to be discussed during the two-day IAEA board meeting, as the United States and its allies have been pushing for new sanctions against Iran.

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