'No credible indications' of Iran nuclear weapons programme after 2009: IAEA

Vienna (AFP) –


The UN's nuclear watchdog reiterated Tuesday it had "no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009", citing its assessments from 2015.

A spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement that its board of governors had "declared that its consideration of this issue was closed" after it was presented with a report in December 2015.

The statement came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled what he said was new "proof" that Iran's nuclear weapons programme could be reactivated at any time.

Without referring to Netanyahu's claims directly, the IAEA spokesman said the agency "evaluates all safeguards-relevant information available to it".

"However, it is not the practice of the IAEA to publicly discuss issues related to any such information," he added.

Netanyahu said on Monday that he would share the material with other countries and with the IAEA.

In the statement the IAEA pointed to its previous findings relating to Iran's activities before 2009.

"Before the end of 2003, an organisational structure was in place in Iran suitable for the coordination of a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device," the statement says.

"Although some activities took place after 2003, they were not part of a coordinated effort," it said, adding that "these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities".

Netanyahu's presentation came as US President Donald Trump considers whether to pull out of the 2015 atomic accord between Tehran and six world powers.

Under the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) -- signed by Iran, the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia -- Tehran agreed to curbs on its nuclear programme in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

The US could withdraw from the deal completely on May 12 -- the next deadline for waiving Iranian sanctions.