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IAEA chief urges Iran to cooperate with inspectors

The head of the UN`s atomic watchdog urged Iran to engage constructively with a team of inspectors heading to Tehran, after a damning report on Iran`s nuclear programme.



Davos: The head of the UN`s atomic watchdog
urged Iran on Friday to engage constructively with a team of
inspectors heading to Tehran, after a damning report on Iran`s
nuclear programme.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Davos forum,
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano told AFP
that the organisation`s previous efforts to verify whether all
its activities were for non-military purposes had been
hampered by "a lack of cooperation" from Iran which he hoped
would change.

"We hope they (Iran) will take a constructive approach. We
hope that there will be substantial cooperation."

A report by the IAEA in November highlighted a range of
areas which had raised suspicions that Iran was pursuing
nuclear weapons, despite its repeated denials.

It detailed 12 suspicious areas such as testing explosives
in a steel container at a military base and studies on
Shahab-3 ballistic missile warheads.

Amano said it was too early to say definitively that Iran
was pursuing a nuclear weapons programme.

But he added: "We have information that indicates that
Iran has engaged in activities relevant to the development of
a nuclear explosive device."

"We are requesting that Iran clarifies the situation. We
proposed to make a mission and they agreed to accept the
mission.

"The preparations have gone well but we need to see what
actually happens when the mission arrives."
Officials at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna said the
team, led by chief inspector Herman Nackaerts, would be
visiting Iran from Sunday to Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters earlier, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said
that the onus was on Iran to prove its good intentions.
"There is no other alternative to addressing this crisis
than peaceful resolution through dialogue," Ban said in Davos.
Iran`s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has insisted that
Tehran is not dodging negotiations and was ready to sit down
with world powers -- Britain China, France, Russia, the United
States, and Germany for talks.

The six world powers are waiting for Tehran to reply to an
October letter sent by EU foreign policy chief Catherine
Ashton that stresses that discussions should focus on the "key
question" of the Iranian nuclear issue.

Previous talks held a year ago in Istanbul ended without
progress.

"Iran should comply with the relevant Security Council
resolutions. They have to prove themselves, that their nuclear
development programme is genuinely for peaceful purposes which
they have not done yet," Ban said.

PTI

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