Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France's chronic unemployment problem

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Candidates Goodluck Jonathan and Mohamudu Buhari call for calm

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Anger at mental health stigmatisation after crash allegations

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Yemen, the Escalation; France's Three Way Race; Clarkson Shown the Exit (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Germanwings Crash; Co-pilot 'hid illness' on crash day (part 1)

Read more

#THE 51%

The extraordinary tale of the Egyptian mother who lived as a man

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: San Cristobal, Venezuela's tinderbox

Read more

FOCUS

Portugal: Anger at corruption scandals, one year after bailout

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Bistronomy: Stylish and simple eating

Read more

IAEA to discuss 'alarming' Iran report

Latest update : 2008-06-02

Iran and its alleged covert military nuclear programme will be the topic of a new week-long meeting for members of the UN nuclear watchdog. The latest report into Iran's nuclear activities says "substantive explanations are required from Iran."

The UN atomic watchdog sits down Monday for a week-long meeting during which it will discuss what its inspectors term "alarming" indications that Iran may have been working to build a nuclear bomb until just a few years ago.
   
The 35-member board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency holds its regular summer board meeting until Friday.
   
Topping the agenda will be the latest report by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei on the agency's long-running investigation into Tehran's controversial nuclear drive.
   
Iran insists its atomic programme is entirely peaceful, but western countries, and the United States in particular, are convinced the Islamic republic is covertly seeking to build a nuclear bomb.
   
In the sternly-worded report, the IAEA expressed "serious concern" that Iran is hiding information about alleged weaponisation work, as well as defying UN demands to suspend uranium enrichment.
   
According to intelligence gathered by 10 different countries, Iran may have been looking into high explosives of the sort used in implosion-type nuclear bombs, and exploring modifications to missiles consistent with making them capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.
   
Iran has repeatedly dismissed the intelligence as fake and fabricated.
   
Nevertheless, in the report, the IAEA insisted that "substantive explanations are required from Iran."
   
The alleged weaponisation work "remain a matter of serious concern. Clarification of these is critical to an assessment of the nature of Iran's past and present nuclear programme."
   
In preparation for the board meeting, the agency's head of safeguards Olli Heinonen briefed diplomats on the technical aspects of the report.
   
According to diplomats who attended the meeting, Heinonen expressed "alarm" that Iran has in its possession a document describing the process for making what could be the core of a nuclear weapon.
   
The 15-page document describes the process of machining uranium metal into two hemispheres of the kind used in nuclear warheads.
   
Iran has told the IAEA that it received the document back in 1987 along with design information for the so-called P1 centrifuges used to enrich uranium.
   
Tehran insists it did not request the uranium metal document.
   
But the IAEA argues it needs to understand the precise role of the document to be able to determine the true nature of Iran's nuclear activities.
 

Date created : 2008-06-02

COMMENT(S)