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ElBaradei: Iran not fully cooperating

The top U.N. nuclear inspector said his agency was unable to verify whether Iran’s nuclear program was peaceful.

The International Atomic Energy Agency “has so far not been able to verify some important aspects of Iran’s nuclear program,” Mohammed ElBaradei, the IAEA, director told the watchdog’s board at its meeting in Vienna Thursday. Left unclear, he said, was the scope of Iran’s enrichment activities “as well as those relevant to alleged studies and other activities that could have military applications,” according to an Agence France Presse report.

The IAEA’s recommendations on whether Iran is cooperating with inspectors are critical to whether the U.N. Security Council will intensify sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Israel and the United States argue that such sanctions are critical to forcing Iran to end its suspected weapons program and avoiding military confrontation.

ElBaradei had earlier angered Israel by suggesting that there was not enough evidence to show that Iran was pursuing a nuclear program. The negative tone of his report Thursday, however, could help spur sanctions. Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

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