IAEA: Iran limiting but also hiding nuclear activities


(JTA) — Iran is limiting its testing of its uranium refinement capacities yet failing to cooperate with international nuclear inspectors, the U.N. atomic watchdog said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency made the assertions in a report released Thursday, the Deutche Welle newspaper reported.

“The agency remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile,” the IAEA report said.

While failing to cooperate with inspectors, Iran has refrained from expanding tests of more efficient models of a machine used to refine uranium, complying with a nuclear agreement with six world powers, Reuters reported.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the IAEA’s report proved Tehran is hiding its nuclear weapons ambitions.

The IAEA “once again notes that Iran is refusing to reveal to the world its preparations for the production of  nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “Iran insists on hiding this from the international community at a time when the major powers are continuing to try and allow Iran to produce the core of such weapons, enriched uranium. These go do not go together.”

The IAEA document nonetheless is allaying concerns that Iran might be violating the accord reached in 2013 by Iran and representatives of the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia. That agreement stipulated that Tehran could continue but not ramp up its research and development of nuclear capabilities, according Reuters.

Israel has accused Iran of using the talks to stall for time while furthering its plans to build nuclear weapons; Tehran has denied this.

The talks between the powers are design to find an agreed-upon formula that would prevent Iran from reaching nuclear weapons capabilities while allowing it to retain some of its nuclear program. Netanyahu has warned against a bad deal that would allow Iran to become a threshold nuclear state.

Talks were scheduled to resume Friday in Geneva between Iran and the world powers.

Netanyahu is scheduled to deliver a speech about Iran before Congress next month at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) over protests by some Democratic Party leaders and the White House.

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