[THS] Iran: U.S. forged documents about our nuclear program
vignes at wanadoo.fr
Sat Sep 5 13:19:27 CEST 2009
Iran: U.S. forged documents about our nuclear program
By The Associated Press
Iran accused the U.S. on Friday of using forged documents and relying on
subterfuge to make its case that Tehran is trying to build a nuclear weapon,
according to a confidential letter obtained by The Associated Press.
The eight-page letter - written by Iran's chief envoy to the UN nuclear agency in
Vienna - denounces Washington's allegations against the Islamic Republic as
fabricated, baseless and false. The letter does not specify what documents Iran is
alleging were forged.
It also lashes out at Britain and France for ill will and political motivation in their
dealings on Iran.
Iranian envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh sent the letter to Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of
the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose 35-nation board will take a hard new
look at Iran's nuclear program next week.
Iran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful and geared solely toward generating
electricity. The U.S. and key allies contend the Islamic Republic is covertly trying to
build an atomic bomb.
Tehran has bristled at the agency's latest report, which accuses Iran of defiantly
continuing to enrich uranium and refusing to clear up lingering questions about
possible military dimensions to its nuclear program.
In the letter, Soltanieh insists that Iran has demonstrated the full commitment of my
country to its obligations under an IAEA nuclear safeguards agreement.
But it takes sharp aim at Washington for giving the UN nuclear watchdog unspecified
intelligence and other evidence allegedly recovered from a laptop computer that
reportedly was smuggled out of Iran.
U.S. intelligence later assessed the information as indicating that Tehran had been
working on details of nuclear weapons, including missile trajectories and ideal
altitudes for exploding warheads.
The material on the laptop also included videos of what intelligence officials believe
were secret nuclear laboratories in Iran.
"By interfering in the work of the IAEA and exerting various political pressures, the
government of the United States attempted to spoil the cooperative spirit between
the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA," the letter reads.
"The government of the United States has not handed over original documents to the
agency since it does not in fact have any authenticated document and all it has are
forged documents," Soltanieh said.
"The agency didn't deliver any original documents to Iran and none of the
documents and materials that were shown to Iran have authenticity and all proved to
be fabricated, baseless allegations and false attributions to Iran," he added.
"Therefore, this subject must be closed," Soltanieh wrote.
U.S. officials were not immediately available for comment late Friday. Officials at the
French Foreign Ministry would not immediately comment. Britain's Foreign Office did
not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The IAEA itself has pressed the U.S. and other governments to share more details on
Iran-related intelligence. In its latest report on Iran, the UN agency noted that
constraints placed by some member states on the availability of information to Iran
are making it more difficult for the agency to conduct detailed discussions with Iran.
In a brief telephone interview Friday evening, Soltanieh told the AP he hoped the
letter would pressure the U.S. to fully divulge the source of any intelligence
"We are the victims of negligence, because people still don't know what this is all
about," he said.
The nuclear agency's latest assessment did acknowledge that Iran has been
producing nuclear fuel at a slower rate and has allowed UN inspectors broader
access to its main nuclear complex in the southern city of Natanz and to a reactor in
But it cautions that there are a number of outstanding issues which give rise to
concerns and which need to be clarified to exclude the existence of possible military
The report, to be examined next week, has raised the specter of harsher
international sanctions against Iran for not answering lingering questions about its
Senior UN officials have said Iran has been feeding uranium ore into some of its
8,300 centrifuges at a reduced rate, suggesting that sanctions already in place may
be hampering its program.
As of Aug. 12, only about 4,600 of those centrifuges were actively enriching uranium,
compared with about 4,900 in June - the last time the nuclear agency issued a report
on Iran's nuclear activities - officials said. Since then, they said, Iran has installed
roughly 1,000 more centrifuges, but it appeared that many were idle.
Soltanieh's letter contends the overall assessment on Iran is positive. But he says
concerns raised by the U.S. and others have totally overshadowed and undermined
the steps that Iran has taken to comply with IAEA demands for transparency.
U.S. President Barack Obama has given Iran something of an ultimatum: Stop
enriching uranium - which, if done at a high level, can produce fissile material for the
core of a nuclear weapon - or face harsher penalties. In exchange for stopping, it
could get trade benefits from six countries that have been engaging it in separate
talks: the U.S., Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on Iran three times since 2006 for its
refusal to freeze uranium enrichment. The sanctions grew from fears that Iran is
using the pretext of building a peaceful nuclear energy program to eventually make
weapons-grade enriched uranium.
The country has also been placed on an international watch list to help limit the
importation of nuclear materials, which could make it difficult to procure enough
uranium oxide to feed its enrichment program.
The European Union on Friday issued a new demand for Iran to return to
international negotiations over its nuclear program, warning that a confrontation and
tougher sanctions could be ahead if the standoff continued.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who was chairing two-day talks among EU's
foreign ministers, said the bloc was keen to restart such talks despite the political
turmoil in Iran.
"We have a very generous offer on the table," Bildt said. "We want cooperation with
Iran on quite a number of things, including the development of civilian nuclear
Bildt, whose country holds the EU presidency, warned that Iran could not continue to
ignore appeals over its nuclear enrichment program.
"If they are willing to engage with us, we are ready to cooperate with them. If they
decide to go for confrontation, then confrontation will happen," Bildt said.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he has been trying to get in contact with
Iranian counterparts over comments made by Iran's nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili,
that Iran would present new proposals.
Envoys from Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China and the U.S. met in Frankfurt
on Wednesday and urged Iran to agree to new talks before the UN General Assembly
meets later this month in New York. They plan to meet again in New York.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Friday the EU and others were very
clear about commitments to sanctions and other actions if Iran does not cooperate
fully with the UN's atomic energy agency.
He said the political instability caused by protests against the re-election of Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the wake of June's presidential vote was not an
excuse to set aside the nuclear issue.
Miliband suggested Iran make its intentions known soon.
"We are coming into a season of international meetings ... we need a response from
the Iranians," Miliband said.
EU officials acknowledged that the appointment of Ahmadinejad's new Cabinet was
complicating efforts to get Iran back to negotiations. They spoke on condition of
anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Ahmadinejad received a broad mandate on Thursday by Iran's parliament backing
his main Cabinet choices, including a suspected mastermind in the 1994 bombing of
an Argentine Jewish center that killed 85 people.
Iran has defied three sets of UN Security Council sanctions aimed at pressuring it to
mothball its uranium enrichment. It also is resisting an IAEA probe into reports it had
drafted plans and conducted experiments for a nuclear weapons program.
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