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US says "deeply troubled" over Iran's nuclear reactor plans

The United States said onWednesday it is "deeply troubled" over Iran's plans to launch anew heavy water reactor in 2014 while failing to provide theUN nuclear watchdog with necessary design information aboutthe plant.
Western diplomats and experts say the Arak reactor couldyield plutonium for nuclear bombs if its spent fuel werereprocessed, something which Iran says it has no intention ofdoing. The Islamic Republic says the plant will produce medicaland agricultural isotopes.

The UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says Iranmust urgently provide it with design data about the facility,warning that it would otherwise adversely affect its inspectors'ability to monitor the site effectively.

"We are deeply troubled that Iran claims that the IR-40heavy water reactor at Arak could be commissioned as soon asearly 2014, but still refuses to provide the requisite designinformation for the reactor," US Ambassador Joseph Macmanustold a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation Board of Governors.

He cited IAEA rules that a member state must inform theVienna-based UN agency about a nuclear facility, and give design details, as soon as it has decided to build it.

"Iran's refusal to fulfil this basic obligation mustnecessarily cause one to ask whether Iran is again pursuingcovert nuclear activities," Macmanus said.

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