UN ends probe of Iran nuclear program

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GENEVA: The United Nations nuclear watchdog today closed the book on the possible military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, finding that they were limited to feasibility and scientific studies and did not proceed beyond 2009, bringing an international nuclear accord with Iran a step closer to implementation.

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“My final assessment gives clear answers to two very important questions: did Iran engage in activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device? And, if it did, is it still doing so?” UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano told the IAEA Board of Governors in Vienna before it adopted a resolution closing the long-running investigation.

“The Agency assesses that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003,” he said, stressing that while the IAEA could not reconstruct all details of Iran’s past activities, it could clarify enough to assess the whole picture.

“The Agency also assesses that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities. The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.”

In July Iran and a group of six countries – China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom and United States – reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to resolve the nuclear issue, entrusting the IAEA with verifying and monitoring Iran’s commitments.

Iran’s nuclear program – which it states is for peaceful purposes of energy production, but some other countries contend is driven by military ambitions – has been a matter of international concern since the discovery in 2003 that it concealed its nuclear activities for 18 years in breach of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Under the JCPOA Iran pledged never under any circumstances to seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons, and the UN Security Council is to consider ending sanctions imposed for its NPT violations once it receives IAEA’s report on verification.

UN DAILY NEWS

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