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World News

Iran says IAEA report shows nuclear work peaceful

TEHRAN (Reuters) - A senior Iranian official said Monday’s report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog showed that Tehran’s nuclear programme was peaceful, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

The report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “is another document that shows Iran’s entire nuclear activities are peaceful”, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s ambassador to the Vienna-based agency, said according to Fars.

“Once more it has been explicitly underlined that there has been absolutely no evidence regarding the diversion of Iran’s nuclear activities or materials toward military purposes,” he said.

Soltanieh did not directly comment on the IAEA statement in the report that Iran’s alleged research into nuclear warheads was a matter of serious concern and that Tehran should provide more information on its missile-related activities.

The U.N. agency also said Iran was holding back information about high-explosives testing relating to its nuclear programme.

The IAEA has been pressing Tehran for answers after Western intelligence alleged that Iran had covertly studied how to design atomic bombs. Iran has dismissed the intelligence as baseless, forged and irrelevant.

The IAEA said in April Iran had agreed on steps to clarify by the end of this month the intelligence allegations.

The intelligence came variously from a laptop computer spirited out of Iran by a defector in 2004 and passed to Washington, from some other Western countries and from the IAEA’s own inquiries.

Soltanieh accused the United States of violating its commitments by not allowing documents it says it has to be handed over to Iran, apparently referring to the intelligence material.

“The point of utmost importance is that both the agency and (its head Mohamed) ElBaradei have confessed in this report that despite the claim (the United States) possesses documents against Iran, the United States has not allowed these documents to be given to Iran,” Soltanieh said.

He called this a “blatant violation of U.S. commitments” and added that the U.S. allegations were “baseless”, Fars said.

The Islamic Republic says its nuclear programme is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity so that it can export more of its oil and gas. Iran is the world’s No. 4 oil producer.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed three rounds of sanctions against Iran for refusing to suspend its sensitive nuclear work.

Reporting by Hossein Jaseb and Hashem Kalantari; Editing by Elizabeth Piper

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