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Thursday, May 26, 2011
IAEA confirms Iran’s nuclear progress
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN - The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that Iran has made progress in its nuclear program despite being hit by the Stuxnet computer worm.
Iran has begun to recover from the effects of the Stuxnet computer worm, which first struck the country nearly two years ago, the IAEA announced in a nine-page report on the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, which was released on Tuesday.
The IAEA stated that Iran’s main production site at Natanz is now producing low-enriched uranium at rates slightly exceeding what it produced before being hit by Stuxnet. The computer worm appears to have been designed in a secret project in which the United States, Israel, and some European allies all played a role, The New York Times reported in January.
The report said Iran’s total output of low-enriched uranium since early 2007 had reached 4.1 tons, up from 3.6 tons in February, an amount that experts say could provide material for at least two bombs, if refined much further.
Elsewhere in its report, the IAEA claimed it possesses evidence that Tehran has conducted work on a highly sophisticated nuclear triggering technology that experts said could be used for only one purpose: setting off a nuclear weapon.
The agency did not say where the evidence came from, nor did it provide many details about the allegations.
However, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Director Fereydoun Abbasi Davani has rejected the claims, saying the IAEA should correct its approach toward Iran’s nuclear program.
Abbasi said the agency claims it has such evidence and that is why Iran’s nuclear dossier has been referred to the United Nations Security Council.
“These days, with technology advancing, fabricating documents is not difficult,” the AEOI director stated.
The IAEA should act within its legal mandate and return Iran’s nuclear dossier to normal status, he said.
Meanwhile, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, on Wednesday dismissed the claims, saying they are based on “unfounded allegations.”
The report brings up content that is old hat and is “based on unfounded allegations and speculation regarding some activities with supposed military objectives,” he told the IRNA news agency.
Soltanieh said the report shows that Iran is successfully pushing forward with its uranium enrichment work.
“It has been clearly noted in the report that our nuclear activities, including enrichment, are being conducted successfully under the supervision of the agency,” he stated.