Evidence of Iranian nuclear bid is ‘credible’ — IAEA


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The cumulative evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program is "credible," the top U.N. watchdog said in its much-anticipated report.

U.S. officials have said they will use the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was published Tuesday, to ratchet up pressure on countries that have been reluctant to do so, especially Russia and China.

"I can safely say the pressure is going to increase," Dan Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, told JTA in an exclusive interview the day before the report’s release. "The IAEA report will provide information and will provide impetus that will lead the United States and a number of our partners to tighten the pressure."

The IAEA report did not include new information proving Iran’s intentions, but instead made its case by corroborating the agency’s own investigations with those of Western intelligence agencies and investigations into the network of A.Q. Khan, the rogue Pakistani nuclear scientist who shared know-how with Iran.

Among its conclusions is that Iran made "efforts, some successful, to procure nuclear related and dual use equipment and materials by military related individuals and entities," as well as sought  "the acquisition of nuclear weapons development information and documentation from a clandestine nuclear supply network" and worked "on the development of an indigenous design of a nuclear weapon including the testing of components."

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that Israel has not decided whether to launch an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

"War is not a picnic. We want a picnic. We don’t want a war," Barak said in an interview on Israel Radio. He added, however, that all options to halt Iran’s nuclear march should remain open.

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