Thursday, July 24, 2008

Iran to End Cooperation with IAEA on “Alleged Studies”

Iran will no longer cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its investigation of “alleged studies.” The term is used by IAEA in reference to research allegedly undertaken in Iran to build nuclear weapons. Iran’s VP and head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Qolam Reza Aghazadeh, made the announcement on Thursday in Tehran.

Investigating such allegations "is outside the domain of the agency," Aghazadeh said.

Last May, IAEA raised serious concerns that Iran was withholding information on the issue.

“The alleged studies remain a matter of serious concern. Clarification of these is critical to an assessment of the nature of Iran's past and present nuclear program,” IAEA said in its report released on 27 May 2008. “Substantive explanations are required from Iran to support its statements on the alleged studies and on other information with a possible military dimension.”

Iran had earlier agreed to answer allegations that it studied how to design nuclear bombs. IAEA chief Mohammad ElBaradei had called the agreement a “milestone.”

The decision by Iran to stop its cooperation with IAEA would add to the tensions surrounding the Iranian nuclear program.

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