Iran's declaration to the International Atomic Energy Agency about its controversial nuclear program looks to be comprehensive, the head of the UN agency said on Thursday.
The IAEA's governing board had set an Oct. 31 deadline for Iran to come clean about the program, which Washington alleges is a front for building an atomic bomb. Iran gave the IAEA a declaration on Oct. 23 about the program, which Tehran insists is peaceful.
"I think we are making good progress. Iran has submitted what [it] assured me to be a comprehensive and accurate declaration," IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters in Ottawa.
"I think I could say that at first glance the report is comprehensive but we still have to do a lot of fine-tuning, we we still have to do a lot of questioning, and that is why we are there right now and we will continue to be there doing an inspection for quite a few months in fact."
Iran is allowing UN inspectors to examine thousands of imported uranium enrichment machinery parts to determine the origin of the traces of weapons-grade uranium found earlier this year, a senior Iranian official said on Tuesday.
ElBaradei did not say whether the declaration answered all the IAEA's questions. Diplomats said UN officials had yet to verify if the answers were true and complete.
Last week, Iran agreed to freeze uranium enrichment and to sign the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, allowing snap inspections of its nuclear sites.
"I will expect that, next week, they will send me a letter requesting they will conclude an additional protocol, which also would be a very positive development," ElBaradei said after talks with Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham.
A spokeswoman for the Vienna-based IAEA said the declaration contained "a great deal of information addressing key areas of Iran's past nuclear program which IAEA inspectors had raised questions about."
"Whether it provides all the answers has yet to be verified," said Melissa Fleming.
A Vienna-based Western diplomat closely following the IAEA inspections in Iran said he expected Tehran had complied with the agency's demand for information to the extent that it "at least gave some kind of answer" to all the questions raised.
"There has been some co-operation by Iran," he said.
These questions included a full picture of Tehran's uranium enrichment program, nuclear import and export lists and other information.
But the Western diplomat said if Iran's declaration did not address the question of what the relationship is between Iran's military and what Tehran says is a peaceful nuclear program, this would be a "glaring omission."
The IAEA has been keen to have details about the origin of uranium-enrichment centrifuge parts, which Iran says it bought on the black market and blames for contaminating two Iranian sites where the IAEA found traces of bomb-grade uranium.
Iran's ambassador to the IAEA indicated this information was not in the declaration, as these parts were purchased on the black market in the 1980s through "intermediaries" who were no longer traceable.
CLOSELY TRACKED: A US officer said that the warplanes were watched as they flew from Russia by way of Iran and Syria to Libya and were photographed multiple times The US Africa Command flatly rejected Russian claims that Moscow did not deploy fighter jets to Libya, saying on Friday that the 14 aircraft flown in reflect Russia’s long-term goal to establish a foothold in the region that could threaten NATO allies. US Brigadier General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence, said that the US tracked the MiG-29s and Su-24 fighter bombers flown in by Russian military, passing through Iran and Syria before landing at Libya’s al-Jufra air base. The base is the main forward airfield for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging an
‘SACRIFICED’: Hu Weifeng became the sixth doctor to die from COVID-19 at Wuhan Central Hospital, where calls to raise the alarm over the virus were suppressed The death of a Chinese doctor at Wuhan’s “whistle-blower hospital” has prompted a wave of anger at hospital authorities for not protecting front-line health workers in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. Hu Weifeng (胡衛鋒), 42, a urologist at Wuhan Central Hospital where the whistle-blower ophthalmologist Li Wenliang (李文亮) worked, died of the virus on Tuesday after a four-month battle. Hu is the sixth doctor from his hospital killed by the virus. Another doctor who spoke out, Ai Fen (艾芬), said that authorities told hospital staff not to wear protective gear so as not to cause panic and reprimanded her for “harming
‘LEAST WE CAN DO’: The gesture was made famous by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was protesting police brutality that targeted minorities They are images that surprised and moved Americans: police officers taking a knee alongside protesters in the most widespread civil unrest to rock the US in decades — and in doing so embracing an anti-racism gesture denounced by US President Donald Trump. As Trump pushes for a crackdown on often-violent protests over the death of George Floyd, police officers from New York to Los Angeles to Houston, Texas, are making gestures of solidarity with demonstrators incensed at the latest case of an unarmed black man dying while in police custody. “I took off the helmet and laid the batons down. Where do
Singapore’s otters, long adored by the city-state’s nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the COVID-19 lockdown, but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping center, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond. While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. There are estimated to be about