Reuters – A senior Iranian official, speaking two weeks before a U.N. deadline for Tehran to dispel doubts over its atomic ambitions, has denied claims Iran is hiding a nuclear facility from the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog. “We have certainly not” hidden any facilities from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Akbar Salehi, told Reuters on Tuesday.
“This piece of information is absolutely baseless,” he said of the allegation made on Monday by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an exiled Iranian opposition group which has given accurate information in the past about Iran’s nuclear programme.
The IAEA in a tough resolution last month, gave Iran until October 31 to disprove U.S.-led concerns it was secretly trying to build a nuclear weapons capability.
Iran insists its nuclear programme, which includes a sophisticated uranium enrichment facility, is purely aimed at generating electricity, not making bombs.
An NCRI spokesman in Vienna said the group would provide details of the alleged secret nuclear site on Tuesday.
But Salehi said Iran had already taken a decision “to cooperate fully with the agency (IAEA) and reveal whatever peaceful nuclear activities we have had in the past”.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei is expected in Iran on Thursday to continue talks with Iran. ElBaradei has warned that if Tehran fails to cooperate fully, Iran’s case may be sent to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.