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Iran ready to allay nuke concerns

Tehran, Aug. 13 (Reuters): The head of Iran’s atomic energy programme today said the Islamic republic planned to allay international concerns about its nuclear programme which Washington says may be used to produce atomic bombs.

“I believe that we will remove the international concerns,” Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh said after a weekly cabinet meeting.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a June report cited a number of failures by Tehran in reporting its nuclear activities and is preparing a follow-up report to be released in September.

Aghazadeh said IAEA inspectors had just concluded a number of inspections in Iran during which “Iran considered all the points that the agency was concerned about”.

“All the necessary visits and sample taking was done and I believe that there is no point which the agency will find ambiguous or have any question about,” he said. IAEA officials in the past have complained that they have been denied access to take environmental samples at some of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Iran has come under mounting international pressure to allow closer inspections of its sophisticated network of nuclear facilities, which include a uranium enrichment facility.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is solely geared to producing electricity and has so far resisted calls to sign the Additional Protocol of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which would allow no-notice, intrusive inspections.

EU commission spokesperson Jean-Christophe Filori said Aghazadeh’s comments only partially eased European concerns. “This is fine, but what we really expect is signature and ratification of the protocol,” he told a daily news briefing.

“We hope this is all a step in the right direction, but we expect something concrete before making more definitive assessments.”

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