The UN released a report by its nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, stating "serious concerns" that Iran is secretly working toward building a nuclear weapon, the Washington Post reported.
"The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device," said the report, which was prepared for the UN's 35-nation board of directors and shows that Iran was mastering the technology required for atomic weapons.
While Iran's leaders have denied the UN's allegations, the IAEA's report cited documents that pointed to extensive and ongoing research by scientists in Iran.
According to the Guardian, the IAEA had accumulated more than 1,000 pages of documentation that led to it to suspect Iran of working on a nuclear program since 2003 under a "structured program" and that "some may still be ongoing."
The IAEA has known about Iran's secret research for years and has asked Iranian leaders to come clean about it, the Washington Post reported.
The report presents the harshest judgment that the IAEA has ever issued in its decade-long struggle to pierce the secrecy surrounding the Iranian program, reported The New York Times.
Iran's reaction to the report has been to say that the IAEA and its Japanese director-general, Yukiya Amano, are in cahoots with Washinton.
According to the Financial Times:
“Unfortunately, there is someone in charge of the IAEA who not only has no authority but tramples upon the IAEA laws and only echoes the US words,” said Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, Iran’s president, on Tuesday. He challenged Mr Amano to look into the US nuclear programme and its thousands of atomic bombs instead of releasing “untrue” reports on Iran.
Anticipating the release of the IAEA report, White House press secretary, Jay Carney said:
"What I can tell you is that we certainly expect it to echo and reinforce what we've been saying about Iran's behavior and its failure to live up to its international obligations. And it will, I'm sure, echo our concern about Iran's nuclear program."
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