Iran accuses IAEA of '2-sided stance'

'Times' quotes intel sources as saying chances of IAF strike on Iran have significantly increased.

rafsanjani 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
rafsanjani 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
A leading Iranian cleric accused the UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei of delivering ambiguous remarks about Iran's nuclear program. Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that ElBaradei "unfortunately" speaks in a "two-sided" manner about the issue. Speaking during a Friday prayers ceremony in Teheran, the influential Rafsanjani said the International Atomic Energy Agency should be "neutral" on Iran. The IAEA said this week Iran is continuing to enrich uranium, which can be used for either nuclear fuel or weapon. Iran claims it's only for electricity production. Rafsanjani referred to what he described as recent remarks by ElBaradei saying the IAEA "cannot confirm what Iran has not disclosed." On Thursday, a former top official in the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission told The Jerusalem Post that Iran would have enough highly enriched uranium by the end of 2009 to produce its first nuclear weapon. Meanwhile, quoting intelligence sources, Friday's The Times reported that the chances of an Israeli preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities had significantly increased in the last few weeks. The British newspaper's report came a day before Prime Minister Ehud Olmert heads to Washington to part from outgoing US President George W. Bush. The two leaders are expected to discuss the Iranian threat in a meeting Monday.