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Nuclear US threat to world: Iran

Fereidoun Abbasi Davani, Iran's Vice President and Head of Atomic Energy Organization. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

By Reuters | Vienna / 20 Sept 2011

The United States and Iran traded accusations at a meeting of the UN atomic agency on Monday, underlining the deep deadlock between the two adversaries in a long-running dispute over the Islamic state’s nuclear program.

In speeches to the annual member state gathering of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iranian nuclear energy chief Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani and US Energy Secretary Steven Chu took aim at the policies of their respective countries.

“Iran has continued to engage in a longstanding pattern of denial, deceit and evasion, in violation of its (nuclear) nonproliferation obligations,” Chu said.

Accusing Tehran of “provocative behavior,” Chu warned Iran that it faced deepening isolation if it continued to defy international demands over its atomic activities, which the West suspects have military aims.

Speaking shortly afterwards and clearly referring to the United States, Abbasi-Davani talked of the “danger of such a country that owns nuclear weapons ... is a serious concern for the global peace and security.

He suggested that “hostile positions” of some states could force a country like Iran to conduct nuclear activities in secret and “put them underground,” remarks that may heighten Western worries about the Islamic state’s intentions.

Iran recently began shifting its uranium enrichment centrifuges to a subterranean mountain bunker near the holy city of Qom as part of an effort to triple its capacity to produce higher-grade refined uranium.

Himself slightly wounded in a 2010 car bomb blast, Abbasi-Davani accused Iran’s foes of planning to assassinate more Iranian scientists, hinting the IAEA — the UN nuclear watchdog — was partly to blame.

“Some countries and their intelligence terrorist organizations have focused on assassinating our experts,” he said, according to an English translation of his speech.

Naming the three slain scientists, Abbasi-Davani said “some others are on their assassination list.” He added, without elaborating: “We strongly urge the (IAEA) to clear its name and reputation in cooperating and preparing the ground in these measures.”

Abbasi-Davani also called on the IAEA to move toward “closing the nuclear case of Iran,” referring to its probe into allegations that Iran may be working to develop an atomic bomb.

 

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