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Iran Says U.N. Report Shows Compliance

June 08, 2003|From Reuters

TEHRAN — Iran argued on Saturday that a U.N. watchdog report, accusing it of failing to comply with safeguards to curb the spread of nuclear weapons, showed that Tehran was in fact cooperating with the agency.

The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, noted that Iran was taking steps to improve safeguards, but the United States, fresh from a war in Iraq over banned weapons, called the report "deeply troubling."

Khalil Moosavi, spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said the report vindicated his organization's dealings with nuclear inspectors.

"This report, like other reports by the agency's chief, bears legal points and indicates Iran's Atomic Energy Organization's transparent interaction with the IAEA," he said.

The IAEA report will be presented by the agency's chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, to agency governors in Vienna on June 16.

Washington says Tehran wants to develop nuclear arms under the guise of building power reactors with Russian help, despite signing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Moosavi rejected U.S. reaction as "politically motivated" propaganda against Iran. "Repeating such claims does not mean being able to prove them," he said.

The IAEA, whose inspectors visited Iran in February, said Tehran was taking steps to comply with agreements that aim to ensure nuclear materials and facilities do not end up in secret weapons programs.

A team of IAEA inspectors arrived in Iran on Saturday, the agency said. "They have been going on a regular basis since February, at least once a month visiting where they need to, taking samples," spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said.

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