[Mb-civic] FW: U.S. says images show Iran plans nuke bomb

Golsorkhi grgolsorkhi at earthlink.net
Thu Sep 16 12:25:17 PDT 2004

------ Forwarded Message
From: "Farhad Sepahbody" <monsoon at esedona.net>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 09:20:51 -0700
To: <grgolsorkhi at earthlink.net>
Subject: U.S. says images show Iran plans nuke bomb

U.S. says images show Iran plans nuke bomb
By Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA (Reuters) - A senior U.S. official says satellite photographs of a
suspected nuclear
industrial site in Iran demonstrated its intention to develop atomic
weapons, an allegation Tehran
has dismissed as "a new lie".

A prominent international expert said on Wednesday that new satellite images
showed the Parchin
military complex southeast of Tehran may be a site for research, testing and
production of nuclear
weapons. Iran denies having an atomic bomb programme.

"This clearly shows the intention to develop weapons," a senior U.S.
official told Reuters on
condition of anonymity on Thursday.

He also accused the U.N. nuclear watchdog of suppressing information on
Parchin in its latest
report on Iran -- a charge denied by the International Atomic Energy Agency

A top Iranian official said the accusation that Tehran was hiding an atomic
site from U.N.
inspectors was a carefully-timed lie intended to influence a resolution on
its nuclear programme
being discussed this week in Vienna by the IAEA governors.

"This is a new lie, like the last 13 lies based on news reports that have
been proved to be
lies," Hossein Mousavian, Iran's chief delegate to the IAEA board meeting
told Reuters.

Washington and Tehran have been at daggers drawn since the 1979 Islamic
revolution and the
present U.S. government says Iran's leadership is "evil" and set on
developing nuclear arms.

David Albright, an American former weapons inspector who heads the Institute
for Science and
International Security think tank, made the allegation about Parchin on
Wednesday, though he
disagreed that it clearly showed weapons intent. He also said the IAEA had
asked to inspect Parchin
but had been ignored.

Mousavian said: "They have not asked to see the site, but were are ready to
cooperate with the
IAEA" if they want to go.

Asked if there had been a request on Parchin, IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky
would say only that
it was "discussing with the Iranian authorities ... dual-use equipment and

However, diplomats in Vienna confirmed that the agency had requested to go
to the site but had
received no answer.

Gwozdecky dismissed as "baseless" the suggestion by the U.S. officials that
the IAEA had
concealed information on Parchin.


The agency's chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, said this week he was not convinced
Iran's activities were
entirely peaceful but that there was no hard evidence to prove the U.S.
belief Tehran was using its
nuclear power programme as a front to build weapons.

Western intelligence agencies have recognised Parchin as a potential
chemical, explosives and
munitions production site since the 1990s. In November 2003, a Tehran
parliamentarian complained
publicly about spending on atomic technology and identified Parchin as a
site for such activity.

"Ascertaining what the connection is between (Iran's atomic energy
authority) and Parchin is very
important," said another senior U.S. official. "There's no legitimate role
for this kind of high
explosive technology in a civil nuclear programme."

Mousavian said the latest accusation was aimed at influencing talks on a
draft resolution that
could set the stage for a November showdown at the IAEA, which could in turn
lead to Iran's case
going to the sanctions-wielding U.N. Security Council, as Washington has
demanded for more than a

France, Britain and Germany are in a sixth round of talks with IAEA board
hardliners -- the
United States, Australia and Canada -- to find a compromise on the wording
of a text on Iran. The
Europeans favour more negotiations with Tehran.

Negotiators from the six states still had no agreement on a text but
continued to talk, informed
Western diplomats said.


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