New data suggests Iran military link: U.N. atom chief

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 06, 2011 6:23 AM
New data suggests Iran military link: U.N. atom chief

VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. atomic watchdog has received further information regarding activities that "seem to point to the existence" of possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program, the agency's head said on Monday.

"There are indications that certain of these activities may have continued until recently," Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a speech to the agency's 35-nation governing board.

Amano's statement underlined the U.N. body's concern that the Islamic Republic may be working to develop a nuclear-armed missile. Tehran rejects such suspicions, saying its nuclear program has only civilian aims, mainly generating electricity.

Amano did not disclose the source of the new information.

For several years, the IAEA has been investigating Western intelligence reports indicating Iran had coordinated efforts to process uranium, test explosives at high altitude and revamp a ballistic missile cone so it can take a nuclear warhead.

Amano said he had written last month to the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, "reiterating the agency's concerns about the existence of possible military dimensions."

He had also asked for Iran to "provide prompt access" to locations, equipment, documentation and officials to help clarify the agency's queries.

Amano made clear that Iran's response had not been satisfactory, saying he had sent a new letter to Abbasi-Davani on June 3 "in which I reiterated the agency's requests to Iran."

(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl and Sylvia Westall; Editing by Alistair Lyon)