Reuters: South Africa said on Thursday a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency showed “increasing confidence” that Iran did not intend to use its nuclear programme for military purposes. PRETORIA (Reuters) – South Africa said on Thursday a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency showed “increasing confidence” that Iran did not intend to use its nuclear programme for military purposes.
But it added that further oversight was needed to verify that Tehran was not building atomic weapons.
In a conference call with reporters in Pretoria, South Africa’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency said the recent report showed that Iran was cooperating, and did not appear to have militarised its nuclear energy programme.
“There is increasing confidence in the Iranian (enrichment) programme,” Abdul Minty said in a call from Oslo. “They (IAEA) have not found a single item that has been lost or diverted to military operations.
Minty said the IAEA needed more time to verify Iran’s compliance on the matter and that South Africa favoured delaying a United Nations Security Council vote on a proposed new round of sanctions against Iran.
The five permanent Security Council members — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — and Germany, have agreed on a draft resolution that would impose a third round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme.
Tehran denies Western charges it seeks nuclear weapons and has ignored three previous Security Council resolutions demanding that it freeze its uranium enrichment programme, which can produce fuel for nuclear power plants or atomic weapons.