The United States says Iran's account
of its nuclear program keeps changing when new facts are discovered, and many
outstanding issues still need clarification. A top-level meeting of the International
Atomic Energy Agency is in progress.
The chief U.S. envoy to the IAEA, Kenneth Brill, said the results of inspections
by the agency's teams in Iran reveal that Iran's claims about the peaceful
nature of its nuclear program are not credible.
"I think it is striking that the more the agency learns, the more the Iranians
have to change their stories, with comments by the Iranian officials over the
past couple of days about the October declaration being the most recent example.
We were told before, the board and the world was told, by a number of very
senior Iranian officials including those commenting on the issue yesterday
and today that that declaration would be full, complete and represent total
Iranian transparency," he said. "When it was proved that this was not the case,
that the report was neither correct nor complete in very significant ways,
as the agency made it clear, they say 'we didn't mean that, we didn't mean
it was to be full and complete.'"
This board meeting is expected to pass a tough resolution on Iran this week,
but not to refer the matter to the U.N. Security Council. Diplomats say the
resolution will be designed to keep the pressure on Iran to come clean on its
nuclear program by the next board meeting in June.
But Ambassador Brill said that will likely not be the end of of the IAEA's
concerns about Iran. "The fact is that the Iranians change their stories to
fit the facts. This board has a lot of work to do and I expect to be dealing
with the Iranian issue in many boards to come," he said.
Earlier Monday, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said he is seriously concerned
about Iran's failure to declare sensitive nuclear research and equipment that
the inspectors found, which could be used in a weapons program. His report
to the board of governors says most of the workshops inspected are owned by
Iranian military industrial organizations.
But Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes, and in a written statement
circulated to reporters says only three out of ten workshops involved in manufacturing
sophisticated centrifuge components belong to the defense industry.
Iran also says it was not required to include information on advanced centrifuge
designs in its report last October. It says it intended to provide this information
after signing a legal agreement with the agency, which it did in December.