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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IAEA: No Answers on Iran's Intentions

VIENNA -- Three years of UN investigations have failed to verify whether Iran's nuclear aims are really peaceful due to continued lack of full cooperation with inspectors, a confidential atomic watchdog report said on Monday.

The report by International Atomic Energy Agency director Mohamed ElBaradei was circulated to IAEA board members a week ahead of a meeting likely to pave the way to UN Security Council consideration of action over Iran's nuclear program.

"It is regrettable and a matter of concern that the uncertainties related to the scope and nature of Iran's nuclear program have not been clarified after three years of intensive agency verification," said the report.

A Feb. 4 IAEA board resolution reporting Iran to the Security Council over concerns it might be secretly seeking atomic bombs had demanded Tehran stop impending agency inquiries or, Western diplomats said, the Council could consider sanctions.

"To clarify these uncertainties, Iran's full transparency is still essential," ElBaradei's report said.

"Without full transparency that extends beyond the formal legal requirements of the [IAEA] safeguards agreement, ... the agency's ability to reconstruct the history of Iran's past program and verify the correctness and completeness of the statements made by Iran, particularly with regard to its centrifuge [nuclear fuel] enrichment program, will be limited, and questions about the past and current direction of Iran's nuclear program will continue to be raised," it said.

Officials close to the IAEA probes said Iran had done very little to heed the IAEA board aside from providing slightly more but inconclusive information about alleged civilian-military links in nuclear work and equipment connected to a military-run installation razed by Iran before inspectors could reach it.

"We are not yet at the point to able to conclude that this is a [peaceful nuclear program]," said a senior official close to the IAEA investigations. Another official close to the inquiry said: "Iran is still inching forward, and coupled with the resumption of uranium enrichment work it makes the whole atmosphere much more negative."

The report also said that Iran had begun testing a cascade of 20 centrifuges at its Natanz pilot uranium-enrichment plant, pressing ahead with efforts to purify nuclear fuel in defiance of world pressure.

The report said Iran had also begun substantial renovations of Natanz's system handling UF6 gas, which is converted by centrifuges into enriched atomic fuel.