02/19/2010, 00.00
Send to a friend

Ayatollah Khamenei denies claims by UN agency concerning Iran’s nuclear programme

The Iranian leader says Iranians’ beliefs “bar us from using such weapons". IAEA says Iran is engaged in activities related to nuclear weapons. Agency report will be presented to its board in early March.
Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Iran's supreme leader has denied claims that his country is developing nuclear weapons, saying that Iranians' beliefs "bar us from using such weapons". Ayatollah Khamenei’s statement contradicts a new report from the UN atomic watchdog, IAEA, which has raised concerns Iran is working on nuclear weapons.

On a visit to southern Iran, Khamenei said that such allegations are baseless. “We do not believe in atomic weapons and are not seeking that,” he said.

Yesterday, the first report by IAEA’s new director general, Yukiya Amano of Japan, was picked up by a number of news agencies. It said, "Altogether this raises concerns about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile."

This is the first time the IAEA referred to current nuclear activities rather than past ones.

The report also confirmed that Iran had begun enriching uranium to higher 20 per cent levels.

Enriching uranium to 90 per cent is needed to produce a nuclear weapon.

The report insisted that it was vital Iran co-operate with IAEA investigators "without further delay" as its resistance added to concerns "about possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme".

The report itself will be submitted to the agency's 35-country board at a meeting in early March.

Many countries are concerned that the Iranian nuclear programme might have military applications.

In order to get Tehran to stop its programme, the United States and other nations are planning more sanctions, but have been thwarted so far by China, which prefers dialogue and diplomacy.

Iran has always claimed that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Power struggle between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei on the horizon
Iran accused of using Hezbollah to support Iraqi insurgency
Pope talks about the Middle East, the Holy Land and the food crisis with Bush
Khamenei rejects US offer of direct nuclear talks
Tehran respects nuclear agreements, says IAEA, but for Trump, it remains a threat
31/01/2019 15:13