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IAEA Says Some Iranian Nuclear Issues Resolved

Iran's Natanz uranium-enrichment facility (file photo) (Fars) August 30, 2007 -- Western news agencies have quoted a confidential report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as saying that Iran is cooperating with IAEA inspectors to resolve outstanding issues.

But the report also says Tehran continues to defy UN Security Council resolutions demanding that it suspend uranium enrichment.

The report was released today to the 35-nation board of the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog.

The report laid out details of a workplan negotiated with Tehran to resolve remaining questions regarding Iran's nuclear program, including a timeline to resolve questions on Iran's uranium enrichment work.

The report confirms a statement released by Tehran saying that questions on Iran's past plutonium experiments and contamination from highly-enriched uranium found on equipment have been resolved.

Iran has pursued a clandestine nuclear program for almost two decades, triggering accusations that it is pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran claims its efforts are solely geared towards energy production.

(compiled from agency reports)

Talking Technical

Talking Technical

A control panel at the Bushehr nuclear power plant (Fars)

CASCADES AND CENTRIFUGES: Experts and pundits alike continue to debate the goals and status of Iran's nuclear program. It remains unclear whether the program is, as Tehran insists, a purely peaceful enegy project or, as the United States claims, part of an effort to acquire nuclear weapons.
On June 7, 2006, RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel spoke with nuclear expert Shannon Kile of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden to help sort through some of the technical issues involved. "[Natanz] will be quite a large plant," Kile said. "There will be about 50,000 centrifuges and how much enriched uranium that can produce [is] hard to say because the efficiency of the centrifuges is not really known yet. But it would clearly be enough to be able to produce enough [highly-enriched uranium] for a nuclear weapon in fairly short order, if that's the route that they chose to go...." (more)


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THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of controversy surrounding Iran's nuclear program.


An annotated timeline of Iran's nuclear program.