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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


UN Nuclear Experts to Examine New Area of Iranian Activities

By VOA News
09 December 2007

Iranian media say a team of U.N. nuclear experts is in the country to examine a new area of Iran's past nuclear activities.

Iranian media say the International Atomic Energy Agency delegation arrived in Tehran Monday and will begin talks with Iranian officials Tuesday. The IAEA experts will ask about the source of uranium traces found by U.N. inspectors at Tehran's Technical University.

Iran and the U.N. nuclear agency agreed in August on a timetable for Tehran to answer outstanding questions about its nuclear activities.

In another development, Iran's Foreign Ministry is dismissing allegations by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates that the Tehran government is trying to create chaos in the Middle East.

Gates was speaking Saturday at a global security conference in Bahrain. He urged Gulf Arab states at the conference to support U.S.-led efforts to pressure Iran into suspending uranium enrichment, a process that can be used in developing nuclear weapons.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, said Sunday that Gates was interfering in the domestic affairs of regional countries.

Tehran also is accusing Washington of using espionage to compile a new intelligence report, the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, about Iran's nuclear program.

The U.S. report released last Monday says Tehran ended a nuclear weapons program in 2003. Iran has never acknowledged having a nuclear weapons program and says its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes only.

Israeli lawmaker Ephraim Sneh, who used to be a deputy defense minister, has described the recent U.S. report as "very flawed." He said the report did not give sufficient weight to Iran's nuclear enrichment program and that even if Iran did suspend its pursuit of nuclear weapons, it could restart the program at any time.

In a statement issued Saturday, the principal deputy director of U.S. National Intelligence, Donald Kerr, said the U.S. intelligence community is confident of the analysis in the report.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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