CNN: The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog admitted Thursday it was no longer in touch with how Iran’s nuclear program was developing, even as Tehran continues its enrichment activities in defiance of sanctions.
NEW YORK (CNN) — The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog admitted Thursday it was no longer in touch with how Iran’s nuclear program was developing, even as Tehran continues its enrichment activities in defiance of sanctions.
A report from International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, said that while Iran has cooperated in several areas — by providing access to declared nuclear material, documents and facilities — it is withholding in others.
“It should be noted that, since early 2006, the agency has not received the type of information that Iran had previously been providing,” the report said.
“As a result, the agency’s knowledge about Iran’s current nuclear program is diminishing.”
Iran’s new nuclear negotiator, Dr. Saeed Jalili, disputed that statement in a news conference shortly after the report’s release.
He said Tehran has been transparent in response to all requests from the IAEA, and said his country now wants the rights to which it is entitled regarding its nuclear program.
Jalili also warned that if the Security Council passes another resolution against Iran, future dealings would be in question.
“If a new resolution is passed — it seems farfetched to me … based on these transparent reports … if the report is bypassed and ignored … then it will affect our future cooperation,” he said.
The U.N. Security Council has already passed two rounds of sanctions against Tehran. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Zalmay Khalilzad, said Thursday Washington would like to see more “biting” restrictions passed against Iran, although China is showing reluctance for further measures.
The United States said the report shows Tehran’s cooperation with the IAEA “remains selective and incomplete.”
“Iran has not met the world’s expectation of full disclosure,” said a statement issued by the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna.
“Iran refused to implement the additional protocol and to provide early information on new nuclear facilities,” it said.
While the IAEA report agreed that Iran had been cooperative regarding answering questions about the history of its nuclear program — and said the answers largely matched its own findings — it said the agency will continue to pursue information about contamination issues and activities that could have military applications.
“Iran has provided sufficient access to individuals and has responded in a timely manner to questions and provided clarifications and amplifications on issues raised in the context of the work plan,” the report said. “However, its cooperation has been reactive rather than proactive. As previously stated, Iran’s active cooperation and full transparency are indispensable for full and prompt implementation of the work plan.”
In Britain, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it would study ElBaradei’s report carefully and share its views at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting next week.
It also warned that if talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana “do not show a positive outcome … we will pursue further Security Council and EU sanctions.”
The talks with Solana and Iranian negotiators have not yet been scheduled, although Jalili said Thursday he had invited Solana to Iran for a meeting Friday.
Iran insists its nuclear program is necessary to provide civilian energy for the country, but the United States has voiced concern its true purpose is to produce nuclear weapons.
Iranian Energy Minister Parviz Fattah said Thursday at an inauguration for a development project that Tehran plans to produce nuclear energy “to supply its energy needs because gas and fuel would run out,” according to the state-run news agency IRNA.