IAEA head affirms Iran 'steadily' enriching uranium

Amano tells 'Washington Post' that nuclear agency is worried over Teheran's nuclear military intentions.

Bushehr Reactor 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Bushehr Reactor 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Iran is steadily producing enriched uranium despite the 2009 Stuxnet worm, International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukia Amano told The Washington Post in an interview published on Monday.
The IAEA chief told the paper that the agency is concerned "over the possible use of nuclear materials for military purposes - in the past and perhaps now."
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He said that the Iranian regime has well over 3,000 kilograms of enriched uranium and continues to stockpile it contrary to UN Security Council resolutions to that effect.
Amano, however, admitted that the international nuclear regulatory agency doesn't have much expertise in estimating when Iran might be capable of building a nuclear weapon. "What we are doing is [tracking] how much enriched uranium they have," he said.
When pressed about his analysis of the Iranian leadership's aspirations, Amano said he has the impression that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems very determined to build a nuclear program.
Discussing the reported Syrian nuclear reactor destroyed in an air raid in 2007, the IAEA chief said that Damascus has consistently denied the agency access to the site. "The problem with this facility was destroyed, cleaned up and a new building was built on that ground."
On Egypt, Amano expressed confidence that there is little to worry about in the recently tremulous state. "I don't have particular concern about the nuclear research facility in Egypt," he said, adding that "Egypt is different than Syria  or Iran."
Asked to discuss his predecessor in the international nuclear agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, Amano said he respects him but strongly emphasized that "there is a difference in style."
"I want to be as clear as possible and I am very firm," he added, before declaring herself "the guardian of non-proliferation."