IAEA chief says agency cannot guarantee all Iran nuclear activities peaceful

IAEA chief says agency cannot guarantee all Iran nuclear activities peaceful

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency says his organization cannot be sure that Iran is not secretly working on nuclear arms, in comments reflecting disappointment with the collapse of talks between Tehran and six world powers.

That meeting ended Saturday with the six failing to persuade Iran to dispel fears of such covert activity by allowing increased IAEA monitoring of its nuclear programs - leaving the U.N. agency short of applying all inspecting instruments it says it should have a right to.

"Cooperation is not sufficient" by Iran, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told The Associated Press on Monday. "We cannot provide ... assurance on the absence of (undeclared) nuclear activities or the exclusively peaceful nature of all the nuclear activities of Iran."

Expectations had been low for the Istanbul meeting. So the six powers - the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany - had avoided putting too much emphasis on their main demand: an end to uranium enrichment, as called for by the U.N. Security Council.

Iran's enrichment program is of international interest because the process can create both nuclear fuel and fissile nuclear warhead material. While Iran insists it wants to enrich uranium only to run a nuclear reactor network, its nuclear secrecy, refusal to accept fuel from abroad and resistance to IAEA efforts to follow up on suspicions of covert experiments with components of a nuclear weapons program have heightened concerns.

Despite four sets of U.N. sanctions, Iran insists it will never give up its right to enrich uranium. Since it resumed the process four years ago, it has amassed enough low-enriched material for more than two bombs, should it choose to enrich its uranium to weapons-grade levels.

Separately, it has amassed more than 40 kilograms (nearly 90 pounds) of higher-enriched uranium, which would take less time to turn into weapons grade material, should Iran decide to do so.

Because of Iran's rejection of talks on enrichment, Iran's interlocutors instead had come to the table with more modest hopes, including seeking concessions from Tehran as to what it was ready to show IAEA inspectors.

The problem is less about monitoring facilities and activities that Iran has declared to the agency and more about concerns that the Islamic Republic might be hiding other nuclear work and denying the IAEA the right to search for them.

"We maintain knowledge on Iranian enrichment activities and other nuclear activities which are declared," Amano said. But, he said, "our knowledge is limited to which we have the access."

That would include the central Natanz enrichment plant, where thousands of centrifuges churn out material that Iran says it will use as reactor fuel but which can also be reworked to make the core of nuclear warheads. Remote cameras and on site inspections are meant to make sure no material is diverted for possible weapons use, and IAEA officials say the agency is content with its overview at Natanz.

The IAEA also has sufficient access to the Bushehr reactor built with Russian help that is to go on line later this year and the Isfahan uranium conversion plant making gas feedstock that is then enriched at Natanz.

But Tehran has restricted IAEA access to its reactor site at Arak, which - once completed - will be able to produce plutonium, which can also be used to arm nuclear warheads.

And it revealed a nearly finished enrichment facility at Qom in 2009 to the IAEA just days before the U.S. and Britain went public with intelligence on its existence, feeding concern that it had planned to keep it secret and worry of other undeclared nuclear work elsewhere.

"The facility at Qom was brought to our attention at quite a late stage of construction," said Amano. "We also hear from a high level of Iranian authorities that they have plans of constructing (other) enrichment plants, but we don't have particular informations."

Such lack of transparency means that "we cannot provide an assurance of the absence of undeclared activities and facilities," said Amano.

Iran also refuses to co-operate with an IAEA probe of U.S. and other intelligence reports that it worked on nuclear weapons programs, dismissing them as falsifications and asserting that the agency is overstepping its bounds - something Amano denied.

"We have the mandate to have clarification on these issues," Amano said, citing U.N. Security Council resolutions urging Iran to co-operate with the agency on clearing up the allegations.

Kazakhstan's postal service operator opens tender to buy petrol
Kazakhstan's postal service operator opens tender to buy petrol
Kazakhstan decreases import from Canada twofold amid COVID-19
Kazakhstan decreases import from Canada twofold amid COVID-19
Kazakhstan eyes attracting latest US technologies in soybeans processing
Kazakhstan eyes attracting latest US technologies in soybeans processing
Loading Bars
Ex-French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing has died from coronavirus - family
Turakurgan TPP improving ecological situation in Uzbekistan
Putin orders Russia to begin large-scale COVID-19 vaccinations next week
France reports 14,064 new COVID-19 cases, 310 deaths
Germany extends COVID-19 restriction measures till January
Poland to start COVID-19 vaccinations as confirmed cases top 1 mln
First Vice-President of Brazilian Federal Senate sends letter to President of Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan's postal service operator opens tender to buy petrol
Kazakhstan decreases import from Canada twofold amid COVID-19
Number of enterprises launched in Iran's Fars Province increases
UK records another 16,170 coronavirus cases with 648 deaths
UAE launches satellite Falcon Eye into space
Azerbaijani, Russian FMs hold telephone conversation
Iran ranked among states with high efficiency turbine tech.
Kyrgyz ambassador and Secretary of Senate of Pakistan discuss inter-parliamentary cooperation
Restrictions mulled for New Year celebrations amid COVID-19 outbreak in Turkey
Georgian FM meets with Polish counterpart in Warsaw
Protesters in Yerevan demand Pashinyan's resignation (VIDEO)
Pfizer-BioNTech seeks full marketing approval from UK for COVID-19 vaccine
Kazakhstan eyes attracting latest US technologies in soybeans processing
Kazakhstan's Zhambyl to reduce energy-dependence by attracting investments in renewables
Germany reports record 487 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours
Belarus reports 1,689 new COVID-19 cases, 139,908 in total
Azerbaijan eyes to use potential of liberated lands for fishery development
UN office announces agenda of special session of General Assembly on COVID-19 initiated by Azerbaijani president
Additional assets brought for Russian peacekeeping contingent delivered - Azerbaijani MoD (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan gains brilliant victory by liberating its lands - Chairman of National Congress of Azerbaijanis of Georgia
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry expresses condolences to Iranian side (PHOTO)
Deposit liabilities of Georgian banking system decreases month-in-month
Phase 3 of OPEC+ could lead to immediate fall in oil prices
Azerbaijan reveals TOP-10 private non-oil exporters
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on December 5
Azerbaijani banks to fully сancel loan debts of martyrs' families
Lending by Georgian commercial banks down
Iran reveals forecast for oil sales for next year
Lari depreciation remains one of leading factors in Georgian debt growth
Georgia decides to ease entry regime for its citizens
Aztelekom LLC announces tender for purchase of electronic spare parts
Bentley hires jets to fly car parts to Britain during Brexit
National Bank of Georgia reveals volume of international reserves
Georgia sees increase in overdue debt
Uzbekistan, Afghanistan eye to achieve twofold growth in trade
Russia discloses volumes of agricultural products supplied to Georgia
Azerbaijan's State Security Service prosecutes Lebanese terrorist mercenary (VIDEO)
Ashgabat City Telephone Network opens tender for audit
EU extends relief measures for COVID-hit loans to March
Turkmenistan expands international cooperation through environmental diplomacy
Iran expands mobile phone imports
Azerbaijani Clean City OJSC signs tender contract
Israel expects $220 million in non-defence trade with Bahrain in 2021
Azerbaijan determines damage inflicted by Armenia on Fuzuli, Jabrayil districts
Turkey to continue providing all kinds of assistance to Azerbaijan - Turkish Minister of National Defense
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price still rising
Employment increases in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Azerbaijan reduces lead exports
Investment in tourism transport infrastructure to help dev’t this sector in Turkmenistan - UNWTO
Georgia expects to start adoption of Oil Stockholding Act soon
Iranian president declares budget revenues for next year
Uzbekistan’s Agrobank to fund entrepreneurial activity under Islamic sharia law
Tightening of quarantine regime may be inevitable - TABIB
Iran expects increase of budget revenues
Georgian CEC to summarize final results of parliamentary elections on December 3
COVID-19 pandemic to displace business class cars from car rental market
Azerbaijan unveils data on local insurers' fees for 10M2020
Building for Turkish-Russian joint monitoring center under construction - Turkish Minister of National Defense
Georgia cultivates significant amount of land to combat marble bugs
Uzbekistan’s Tashkent registers largest number of private enterprises
Tourism can help protect, promote Turkmenistan’s culture - UNWTO
Volume of sales through Azexport portal continues to grow
New electricity facilities to be put into operation in Iran
Japanese agency funds project aimed at improving locust control in Uzbekistan
Georgian oil company trying to contain fuel price rise
Uzbekistan, Germany in talks over partnership with EU
Value of OIC states' import from Turkey shows decline
Azerbaijan's non-oil exports via 'Single Window' system increase
SOCAR Polymer remains export leader in Azerbaijan's private sector
Georgia aims to transpose renewables acquis
Kazakhstan's crude petroleum oil exports to Greece plummet
Construction of Kerki airport passenger terminal being completed in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan's AzerGold becomes one of export leaders in public sector
Trilateral statement on Karabakh to contribute to long-term peace in region - Kazakhstan's President
Kazakhstan discloses volume of doses to be produced by COVID-19 vaccine plant
ASTS+ trading, clearing system to up productivity of Kazakhstan Stock Exchange
Azerbaijan announces recent COVID-19 death rate
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for December 2
Azerbaijan presents video footage from Lachin's Garygyshlag village (VIDEO)
Oil prices steady as market awaits output deal
Iran's export to Afghanistan increases
Prices of Kazakh-manufactured diesel fuel down
Azerbaijan's October 2020 non-oil exports slightly rise
Expenses on construction of enterprises in Iran’s Semnan Province climbs
Resources from Southern Gas Corridor to be available via Serbian-Hungarian pipeline
Iran's non-oil export has increases
Iron ore concentrate production of giant Iranian steel companies grows
Events in Belarus, Nagorno-Karabakh region, Kyrgyzstan complicate situation in CSTO area – Putin
Turkmenistan working on development of infrastructure for gas export
Uzbekistan’s State Tax Committee announces tender for IT services
Azerbaijan confirms 3,942 new COVID-19 cases, 2,265 recoveries
Azerbaijan shows video footage from Soyudlu gold deposit of Kalbajar district (VIDEO)
Turkish companies involved in construction of new road to Azerbaijan’s Shusha (Exclusive)
All news