US, China warn Iran of "consequences" for not coming clear on nuclear issue

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Beijing, NOv.17 (ANI): The presidents of China and the United States have warned Iran that it could face "consequences" if it continues to resist attempts to make its controversial nuclear program more open.

Both Barack Obama and Hu Jintao told a joint press conference held at the Great Hall of The People here "that the Islamic Republic of Iran must provide assurances to the international community that its nuclear programme is peaceful and transparent."

"On this point our two nations and (other global powers) are unified. Iran has an opportunity to present and demonstrate its peaceful intentions but if it fails to take this opportunity, there will be consequences," Obama said.

China and the United States are among six world powers seeking a negotiated end to Iran's nuclear programmes.

On Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called on Tehran to provide more information about the purpose of a previously secret nuclear site and suggested that Iran could be hiding other facilities.

An IAEA report said the government had failed to provide full and credible evidence that the plant was only for civilian use.

"Iran''s declaration of the new facility reduces the level of confidence in the absence of other nuclear facilities under construction and gives rise to questions about whether there were any other nuclear facilities not declared to the agency," the Telegraph quoted the IAEA report, as saying.

The IAEA added that construction had been continuing for longer than the Iranians had admitted

The inspectors'' report said the Qom site was in an "advanced state" of construction but did not yet have centrifuges or other nuclear-related equipment.

Iran informed the IAEA about the Qom nuclear site in September, only after its existence had become known to western intelligence agencies.

The discovery led to an uproar in the west, with analysts saying the only purpose of such a facility was to supply a weapons programme.

Iran claimed it was being built in case its main enrichment plant at Natanz, also initially kept secret, was bombed by enemies such as Israel.

The IAEA confirmed that the facility was intended to house 3,000 centrifuges, enough to enrich uranium for one nuclear weapon per year. (ANI)

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