Thursday, September 14, 2006

US report on Iran branded dishonest by IAEA

The UN nuclear watchdog has protested to the US government over a report on Iran's nuclear programme it called "outrageous" and "dishonest" . In a letter, the IAEA said a congressional report suggested Iran's programme was more advanced than had actually been determined.

The agency also took "strong exception" to claims made over the removal of a senior safeguards inspector. The IAEA said the letter was sent to "set the record straight on the facts".

"This is a matter of the integrity of the IAEA and its inspectors," spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said in a statement.

The letter, signed by a senior official at the International Atomic Energy Agency, says the 23 August report by the US House intelligence committee contains "erroneous, misleading... information". It says the report was wrong to say that Iran had enriched uranium to weapons-grade level when the IAEA had only found small quantities of enrichment at far lower levels.

The letter also said the report was wrong to suggest that the IAEA had removed Chris Charlier for not adhering to an alleged IAEA policy barring its "officials from telling the whole truth" about Iran.



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