Washington, June 7: The International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded that Iran violated international safeguards agreements by secretly acquiring 1.8 tons of uranium from China a decade ago and converting it into metal, said diplomatic sources.
The finding could hasten a showdown with the US over Iran’s nuclear program.
The IAEA, in a confidential report, acknowledges recent cooperation by Iran on nuclear matters but says the Islamic republic still had not fully accounted for its uranium and had not adequately explained programmes that the US fears are intended to produce nuclear weapons.
“The number of failures by Iran to report facilities and activities in a timely manner, as it is obliged to do, is a matter of concern,” said the report, released to diplomats in advance of a key IAEA meeting June 16.
The US described the IAEA report as “deeply troubling”.
While Iran says it is exercising its right to develop civilian nuclear power, US officials and experts say the facilities will supply Iran with most of the ingredients for nuclear bombs.