IAEA denies report, stands by ElBaradei's recent assessment

IAEA Iran can make nuke

The UN nuclear watchdog dismissed an Associated Press report that said the agency had concluded Iran was on its way to producing nuclear weapons, Reuters reported late Thursday night. In a statement, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reaffirmed chief Mohamed ElBaradei's September 9 warning that allegations the agency was sitting on undeniable evidence of Iranian bomb work were "politically motivated and baseless." "With respect to a recent media report, the IAEA reiterates that it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapons program in Iran," the statement quoted by Reuters said. Earlier, AP reported that experts at the agency were in agreement that Teheran has the ability to make a nuclear bomb and is on the way to developing a missile system able to carry an atomic warhead. Associated Press said it saw a secret report which claimed as much. The document drafted by senior officials at the IAEA, AP said, was the clearest indication yet that the agency's leaders share Washington's views on Iran's weapon-making capabilities. It appears to be the so-called "secret annex" on Iran's nuclear program that Washington says is being withheld by IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaraedi. The document says Iran has "sufficient information" to build a bomb. It says Iran is likely to "overcome problems" on developing a delivery system. The document was released as the West was gearing up to hold talks with Teheran, in an effort to resolve the standoff over the Islamic Republic's refusal to freeze uranium enrichment and heed other UN Security Council demands. A meeting was set for October 1, and representatives from the six world powers - the US, the UK, China, Russia, Germany and France - will be in attendance.