US 'disturbed' over Iran's race towards nuke weapons capability

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Washington, Feb 19(ANI): A senior Obama administration official has said that the United States is worried over the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) report on Iran's nuclear program.

The official underlined the seriousness of some of the IAEA's findings, which he said showed the Iranians to be less and less willing to cooperate with the atomic watchdog agency and possibly seeking a weapons capability.

"The increased level of non-cooperation [with the IAEA] indicates to me, that unless we can mount an international pressure to stop it, this program is heading more and more in the direction of seeking a weapons capability," Politico quoted the senior administration official, as saying.

"It may take them longer to get there, but the pattern of behaviour is one that is very disturbing," the official added.

He added that there is less credibility to the Iranian statements that their program is peaceful.

The official also noted that the IAEA report for the first time said it had concerns that Iran may have conducted not just undisclosed past nuclear weaponization research, but may have undisclosed weaponization research underway.

"For the first time, the agency says that they have concerns about - I'm quoting now - 'possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed activities related to the development of nuclear payload for a missile'," the official said.

"In past reports, the agency has just talked about previous activities. This is the first time that they've now raised a question that there may be ongoing activities related to weaponization," the official added.

The IAEA's report cast significant doubt on an Iranian claim that it did not begin construction of a secret enrichment facility at Qom until 2007, after Iran unilaterally declared that it was no longer obliged to notify the IAEA in advance of program facility plans.

The nuclear watchdog agency also said that Iran has transferred its entire known stockpile of low enriched uranium - about 2,000 kilograms - from its main enrichment facility at Natanz to nother facility at Natanz where Iran began to enrich uranium to a higher grade earlier this month. (ANI)

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