VIENNA - The UN nuclear watchdog chief said it was his duty to warn the
world about suspected Iranian activities that point to plans to develop
atomic bomb, maintaining pressure on Tehran ahead of rare talks between
Iran and his agency expected this month.
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, made clear in an interview with Financial Times Deutschland that the UN body would press for full cooperation in meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran.
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we know suggests the development of nuclear weapons," he was quoted as
saying in comments published in German on Thursday, adding Iran had so
far failed to clarify allegations of possible military links to its
"We want to check over everything that could have a military dimension."
IAEA delegation, to be headed by Deputy Director General Herman
Nackaerts, is expected to seek explanations for intelligence information
that indicates Iran has engaged in research and development relevant
for nuclear weapons.
Tension between Iran and the West over
Iran's nuclear program has increased since November, when the IAEA
published a report that said Tehran appeared to have worked on designing
a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is aimed at generating
"I have absolutely no reason to soften my report. It
is my responsibility to alarm the world," Amano said. "The overall
pattern led me to the decision to alarm the world. The more pieces (of
information), the clearer the pattern become."
envoy to the IAEA, Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told Reuters on
Tuesday that Iranian officials were open to discussing "any issues" in
the talks in Tehran, which he said were set for Jan 29-31.
Western diplomats, who have often accused Iran of using stalling tactics
as it presses ahead with its nuclear program, have expressed doubt that
the planned IAEA trip will lead to any major progress in the
long-running nuclear dispute.
While UN inspectors regularly monitor Iran's declared nuclear
facilities, their movements are otherwise restricted, and the IAEA has
complained for years of a lack of access to sites, equipment, documents
and people relevant to its probe.
Amano rejected Iranian media suggestions that his agency may have been
partly responsible for the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist
Iran has in the past accused the IAEA of leaking the names of nuclear
scientists, making them potential targets for the security services of
Iran's foes in the West and Israel.
"That is wrong. We did not publish his name. I did not know him," Amano
said about the Jan 11 killing of Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan in a car bomb
attack in Tehran. Iran has blamed Israel.
"I don't believe in violence. I believe in dialogue and conversation. I
only expect from Iran that it cooperates."