IAEA to press Iran for access, West suspects site clean-up

By REUTERS
August 22, 2012 16:39

 
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VIENNA - UN nuclear inspectors will press again for access to a major military facility in talks with Iran this week but the chances of finding any evidence of suspected atom bomb research may have dimmed because the site has been "cleaned up", Western diplomats and experts say.

Visiting the Parchin complex has become a priority for the International Atomic Energy Agency as it seeks to end what the West sees as prolonged Iranian stonewalling of its investigation into allegations of attempts to design a nuclear weapon.

Iran denies accusations that it wants to develop nuclear weapon technology. But its refusal to limit and be more transparent about its nuclear activity has led to increasingly tough sanctions and sparked renewed speculation that Israel, Tehran's arch-enemy, might bomb Iranian nuclear installations.

Citing satellite images, Western diplomats say Iran has demolished some small buildings and moved earth at Parchin in an apparent attempt to purge any incriminating evidence from a site where the IAEA believe tests in a steel chamber relevant to nuclear arms were carried out, possibly a decade ago.

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