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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

US ambassador to IAEA: Iran 'nearing' nuke capability

Glyn Davies, Washington's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, has expressed concerns that at a minimum, Iran is attempting to preserve a nuclear weapons option.
"Taken in connection with Iran's refusal to engage with the IAEA regarding its past nuclear warhead-related work, we have serious concerns that Iran is deliberately attempting, at a minimum, to preserve a nuclear weapons option," Davies said.

The latest agency report reveals that Iran now has, at a minimum, 1,430 kilograms of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride, added the US official.


"We, as members of the board, have a responsibility to demand that the (IAEA) secretariat's questions are answered and to ensure that we can obtain confidence in the peaceful intent of the Iranian nuclear program," Davies said. "When a state such as Iran continues to violate its obligations, we must respond."

But Davies also said that the US welcomes constructive, honest engagement with Iran to resolve the issue, and expressed hope that Teheran will take "immediate steps to restore international trust and confidence."

"The pathway to a negotiated solution remains on the table for Iran, and we continue to call on Iran's leaders to demonstrate genuine commitment to peace and security in the Middle East and to the international nonproliferation regime," he said.

Britain, France and Germany joined Washington's call, urging Iran to engage in "meaningful negotiations" aimed at achieving a comprehensive diplomatic solution to the international standoff over its disputed nuclear program.

The three major European powers said it that was "inexcusable" that Iran continues to repudiate any degree of transparency or cooperation in clarifying outstanding issues and that its current attitude further reinforces doubts about its endeavor.

"Iran should make use of the window of opportunity provided now," said the joint statement, delivered by German envoy Reedier Luedeking. "We have extended a hand and we appeal to Iran to take it."
Unfortunately, the time for 'engagement' is long past.


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