Iran Nuclear NewsTehran to Face Critical Report On Nuclear Policy

Tehran to Face Critical Report On Nuclear Policy

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The Wall Street Journal: The United Nations nuclear watchdog will criticize Iran for misrepresenting the extent of its experiments with plutonium and for failing to answer outstanding questions about its nuclear program. The criticism, which will be presented in a speech today to the International Atomic Energy Agency board, is unlikely to scuttle European-led negotiations intended to wean Tehran of its alleged weapons ambitions. The Wall Street Journal

Speech Citing Deception Could Bolster U.S.’s Case For U.N. to Invoke Sanctions

By CARLA ANNE ROBBINS
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Page A15

WASHINGTON – The United Nations nuclear watchdog will criticize Iran for misrepresenting the extent of its experiments with plutonium and for failing to answer outstanding questions about its nuclear program.

The criticism, which will be presented in a speech today to the International Atomic Energy Agency board, is unlikely to scuttle European-led negotiations intended to wean Tehran of its alleged weapons ambitions. Those talks have made little progress and if they founder, as many expect, the report would bolster U.S. calls for U.N. Security Council sanctions.

A senior U.S. official said last night that the report “will demonstrate that the Iranians are once again caught lying….This is consistent with a long-standing pattern of deception.” The Bush administration has given at most lukewarm support for the European effort.

Iran first told IAEA inspectors that its small-scale experiments with separating plutonium ended in 1993, according to diplomats with knowledge of the investigation. Samples of a plutonium solution tested by the agency showed the work continued at least until 1998, a fact Tehran only acknowledged after being presented with IAEA’s results.

Plutonium can be used for nuclear fuel and for making nuclear weapons. Iran’s misrepresentation is only the latest in a long string of misrepresentations about its sensitive nuclear efforts.

Iran insists its nuclear program is solely for producing electric power and that it concealed much of its work for two decades to avoid U.S. economic sanctions or possible military attacks. The IAEA has said it has found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program. It also has strongly criticized Iran for hiding or actively lying about crucial parts of its program and for coming clean only when confronted with evidence.

In today’s speech, deputy IAEA chief Pierre Goldschmidt also is expected to criticize Iran for failing to answer questions about its dealings with the nuclear black market headed up by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan. The agency has been investigating Iran’s contacts with Mr. Khan and his subordinates, as well as its purchases from the network that could be used to bolster a covert weapons program.

Diplomats with knowledge of the speech said Mr. Goldschmidt is likely to raise Iran’s continued refusal to allow IAEA inspectors back into Parchin, a munitions testing site that U.S. officials suspect has been used to test conventional explosives that can be used in nuclear weapons.

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