Iran to disclose imported nuke parts
06.10.2003 - 14:45
By Paul Hughes
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran says it will give the U.N. nuclear watchdog a list of components imported for enriching uranium, which Washington
says is the heart of a secret atomic weapons programme.
But Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Akbar Salehi said Tehran, which has been given until October
31 to dispel doubts about its atomic aims, could not say exactly where the parts came from.
"These are items which were not bought officially, they were bought through intermediaries and it is not possible to trace intermediaries,"
Salehi told Reuters by telephone.
"We will give them (the IAEA) a list of the items and we will show them where they were stored because they were stored in a number of
places," he added.
An IAEA team arrived in Tehran late last week to conduct talks and inspections aimed at verifying Iran's position that its sophisticated
nuclear programme is solely geared to producing electricity and not bombs.
Should outstanding doubts remain at the time of the next IAEA Governors Board meeting in November, Iran's case may be sent to the U.N.
Security Council for possible sanctions.
Salehi's comments were the first details to emerge of concrete steps Iran is taking to meet the IAEA's demands for full transparency about
its nuclear programme since the IAEA team arrived.
The IAEA has said getting to the bottom of Iran's uranium enrichment programme -- which Tehran now acknowledges dates back to 1985
and not 1997 as it had originally told the agency -- is its top priority.
Enriched uranium can be used as fuel for nuclear energy reactors, or as bomb material if highly enriched.
SUSPICIOUS TRACES FOUND
IAEA inspectors have found traces of arms-grade enriched uranium at two sites in Iran this year. Tehran says the findings were caused by
contamination from imported parts and not a sign that it is secretly producing fissile material.
A Vienna-based diplomat said it was theoretically conceivable that the intermediaries who sold Iran the components on the black market in
the 1980s (during the Iran-Iraq war) were no longer contactable, as they probably did not run standard above-board businesses.
At the same time, the diplomat said it would be crucial for Iran to hand over a complete import list and all original documents pertaining to
the imports. Anything less would not be considered complete.
Iran refuses to accept as binding the IAEA's September resolution which set the October 31 deadline and called on Iran to halt enrichment
But Salehi said Iranian officials had agreed on an action plan with visiting IAEA officials to answer their outstanding concerns.
"So far things have been going very well. We hope it will continue as it has been. We have an initial understanding of what to do and I hope
it speeds up," he said.
However, diplomats remain sceptical that Iran will do enough to satisfy the IAEA. http://www.swisspolitics.org/en/news/index.php?section=int&page=news_inhalt&news_id=4313490