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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 22:34 GMT
US blasts Iran nuclear 'stories'
IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei
The IAEA has persuaded Iran to permit tougher checks
A top US official has accused Iran of continuously changing its explanations after UN nuclear inspectors find previously undeclared activities.

"The Iranians change their stories to fit the facts," said Kenneth Brill, US ambassador to the UN nuclear agency.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would be dealing with Iran for "many years to come" Mr Brill said.

He was speaking in Vienna where the IAEA board of governors is meeting to consider how to proceed with Iran.

I think its striking that the more the agency learns the more the Iranians have to change their stories
Kenneth Brill
US ambassador to the IAEA
IAEA Director General Mohammed ElBaradei said he was "seriously concerned" about omissions in that declaration - and dismissed Iranian calls to drop the issue from the international agenda.

Iran's ambassador said Tehran had never said the dossier was complete.

'Setback'

Pirooz Hosseini said his country had been the victim of a "war of propaganda" and "misquoted" as saying the declaration was complete.

But according to his US counterpart, Iranian officials had said the October report would be "full, complete and represent total transparency".

"When it was proved that was not the case, then the Iranians changed their story and said we didn't mean it was going to be full and complete," said Mr Brill.

"I think its striking that the more the agency learns the more the Iranians have to change their stories," he said.

Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant under construction
Iran wants the world to close the country's nuclear file
Iran had violated the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) for many years, Mr ElBaradei said at the Vienna talks.

He singled out Iran's failure to declare that it was researching advanced centrifuge designs, known as P2, capable of producing highly enriched uranium.

This, he said, had been "a setback to Iran's stated policy of transparency".

Iran halted its enrichment programme last year under international pressure, but has indicated the move is only temporary.

European states led by Germany, France and the UK have favoured a more conciliatory approach to Iran, pointing to the complicated political situation within the Islamic republic.


SEE ALSO:
UN criticises Iran nuclear stance
08 Mar 04  |  Middle East
Iran seeks nuclear file closure
07 Mar 04  |  Middle East
Iran nuclear omissions worry UN
24 Feb 04  |  Middle East
Iran nuclear find 'concerns' US
19 Feb 04  |  Middle East
Iran signs up to nuclear checks
18 Dec 03  |  Middle East
Q&A: Iran's nuclear programme
18 Dec 03  |  Middle East


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