UN atomic agency: Iran rapidly expands nuke work

Posted on February 24, 2012

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VIENNA (AP) — Iran has rapidly ramped up production of higher-grade enriched uranium over the last four months, the U.N. nuclear agency said Friday, in a confidential report that feeds concerns about how quickly the Islamic republic could produce an atomic bomb.

The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency also said Iran had failed to give a convincing explanation about a quantity of missing uranium metal. Diplomats say the amount unaccounted for is large enough to be used for experiments in arming a nuclear missile.

Iran insists it is not interested in nuclear weapons and says its activities are meant either to generate energy or to be used for research. But the report contained little assurances the country’s activities are purely peaceful.

Instead, it also confirmed that two IAEA missions to Tehran within less than a month had failed to dent Iran’s refusal to assist an IAEA probe of suspicions that the country has been secretly working on aspects of a nuclear weapons program.

AP

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