UN watchdog expresses serious concern over nuclear Iran
The IAEA believes a large explosives containment vessel has been built at the Parchin military site
24 February 2012 Last updated at 16:47
The UN’s nuclear watchdog says it continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.
In its latest report, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said talks in Tehran this week had produced no agreement with Iran on clearing up questions about its programme.
The report said Iran had dismissed the IAEA inspectors’ concerns as unfounded.
The West suspects Iran is seeking to build a nuclear bomb, which it denies.
The IAEA report, a copy of which was obtained by the BBC, was published two days after the Iranian authorities refused a request by inspectors to visit the Parchin military site, south of the capital, Tehran.
In November, another IAEA report – based on what it called “credible” information – indicated that Iran had built in 2000 a large explosives containment vessel at Parchin to conduct hydrodynamic experiments.
These experiments, which involve high explosives in conjunction with nuclear material or nuclear material surrogates, were “strong indicators of possible weapon development”, the report said.
The use of surrogate material and the confinement provided by a chamber can also be used to prevent contamination.