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No progress on Iran nuclear weapons probe

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Iran has not shed light on its alleged nuclear weapons projects ahead of the final stretch of negotiations on its controversial nuclear programme, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report on Friday.

The Vienna-based agency has been trying to get answers about suspect research and development projects as six world powers and Iran try to clinch a deal by a November 24 deadline that would curb Tehran’s nuclear programme in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.

However, the IAEA said in its report that its officials were planning no new talks with Iran before that date on measures that would give the IAEA access to Iranian nuclear sites, officials and documents.

“Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the Agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures, nor has it proposed any new practical measures,” said the IAEA document, which covers the period since September.

On a positive note, the IAEA reported that Iran had stuck to the confidence-building measures agreed with the six powers: It had not boosted uranium enrichment and had not installed any significant components at its plutonium-producing reactor in Arak.

Western diplomats have said that while the weapons projects were an important issue, the sextet consisting of Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany has been focussing on the uranium and plutonium issue that could provide Iran with material to make nuclear weapon. SAPA

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