ElBaradei Presses Iran on Nuclear Allegations, Promises Confidentiality

In a statement to the UN General Assembly, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei said that he was still unable to “achieve full clarity regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.”

He called on the Iranian government to ensure transparency “to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.” ElBaradei said last week that Iran lacked the nuclear material to construct an atomic weapon even if it chose to do so, but has expressed concerns regarding allegations unrelated to its civilian nuclear energy program.

The allegations stem from a “stolen laptop” acquired by the United States from a militant Iranian opposition group several years ago. Among the allegations is that Iran attempted at one point to modify a Shahab-3 missile to make it suitable for carrying a nuclear warhead. Iran has insisted the accusations are untrue, and has requested copies of the documents from which the allegations sprung. The IAEA has said it is unable to provide them.

Lacking the documentation for the allegations, Iran has declined the IAEA access to requested sites and personnel which it says would require them to expose information about their conventional arsenal. ElBaradei has attempted to assure Iran that it was able to “protect the confidentiality of sensitive information and activities.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.