February 22, 2008 / 6:45 PM / 11 years ago

US: "No confidence" Iran's nuclear program peaceful

(Adds quotes and background)

WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The United States said on Friday the international community could have "no confidence" that Iran’s nuclear program was for peaceful purposes until Tehran meets demands to suspend uranium enrichment activities.

Kate Starr, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said based on a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United States was "disappointed" with Iran’s failure to fully comply with its obligations and would continue a push for further U.N. sanctions.

The IAEA, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, said on Friday Iran was being more transparent about its nuclear program but doubts remained about whether it was entirely for peaceful purposes and not to make atomic bombs.

It said Iran’s lack of credible answers to intelligence about explosives and missile design work relevant to making atomic bombs was a "serious concern."

"Based on this latest report, we are disappointed with Iran’s continued failure to comply with its U.N. Security Council obligations and calls by the IAEA to suspend all proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities, and to provide full transparency and access to the IAEA," Starr said in a written statement.

"Instead, the report notes that Iran continues and has even expanded its enrichment activities during the past year. While we welcome the progress the IAEA has made on some issues, until Iran meets its obligations, the international community can have no confidence that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful," she said.

"We again urge Iran to suspend such activities and make a full disclosure to the IAEA. At this point, we are continuing to move forward with our Security Council partners on a third sanctions resolution," Starr added. (Reporting by Matt Spetalnick, editing by Patricia Wilson)




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