VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran said on Saturday it gave the U.N. nuclear watchdog what it described as a full declaration of its atomic program, which Washington says is a front for building an atom bomb.
Iran, which insists its atomic program is dedicated to the peaceful generation of electricity, gave the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a similar “full” declaration in October 2003.
However, the October declaration omitted details about potentially weapons-related research, including designs and components for advanced “P2” centrifuges capable of producing bomb-grade uranium.
“Yesterday, we submitted the declaration prior to the due date of June 18,” Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, Pirooz Hosseini, told Reuters.
Asked if this declaration was full and truthful, Hosseini said: “Yes.”
But one Western diplomat, who declined to be named, said IAEA inspections should continue until the declaration can be verified.
“I think the fact that they already submitted a declaration that was supposedly full and complete but clearly wasn’t…means that intensive inspections should continue for at least the foreseeable future,” the diplomat told Reuters.
The diplomat is convinced Iran is still hiding things from the United Nations.
“Iran has a covert parallel nuclear program that is military in nature” and aimed at producing atomic weapons, the diplomat said.
IAEA officials could not be reached for comment. Diplomats said it was unlikely the agency would be able to verify the dossier before the June meeting of the IAEA governing board.
The latest declaration was required under the IAEA’s so-called Additional Protocol, which Iran signed on December 18, 2003.
Although Iran’s parliament has not yet ratified the protocol, Hosseini said Tehran had “decided to voluntarily apply the protocol” and submit the declaration within six months from the signing date.
The Additional Protocol gives the IAEA the right to conduct more intrusive, short-notice inspections and requires Tehran to give the IAEA much more information than under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Hosseini said the declaration contained no surprises, such as nuclear sites that the IAEA was not aware of. But he said it gave “more details about sites already declared to the IAEA.”
It also covers past and present activities and sites connected to the enrichment of uranium and all other aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, he said.