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No Sign Iran Seeking Nuclear Arms, New IAEA Chief Says

Yukiya Amano

Yukiya Amano

VIENNA (Reuters) -- The incoming head of the UN's nuclear watchdog has said he does not see any hard evidence that Iran is trying to gain the ability to develop nuclear weapons.

"I don't see any evidence in IAEA official documents about this," Yukiya Amano told Reuters in his first direct comment on Iran's nuclear program since his election, when asked whether he believed Iran was seeking a nuclear weapons capability.

Current IAEA head Muhammed El-Baradei told the BBC last month it was his "gut feeling" that Iran was seeking the ability to produce nuclear arms, if it desired, as an "insurance policy" against perceived threats from neighboring countries or the United States.

"I'm not going to be a 'soft' director-general or a 'tough' director-general," Amano told Reuters, when asked how he would approach issues like Iran and Syria, which are both subject to IAEA probes.