US, Iran trade barbs at nuclear meeting

2011-09-19 19:01

Vienna - 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 programme.

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 long-standing pattern of denial, deceit and evasion, in violation of its [nuclear] non-proliferation obligations," Chu said.

Accusing Tehran of "provocative behaviour", 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  International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - the UN nuclear watchdog - was partly to blame.

Abbasi-Davani has been personally subjected to UN sanctions because of what Western officials said was his involvement in suspected nuclear weapons research.

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

In July, university lecturer Darioush Rezaie was shot dead by gunmen in eastern Tehran, the third murder of a scientist since 2009.

One was killed in a car bomb, the second by a device detonated remotely.

Iran has said the attacks were the work of enemies that wished to deny it the right to develop nuclear technology which it says is aimed at generating electricity.

Reputation

Washington has denied any involvement in the murders and arch foe Israel has declined to comment.

Abbasi-Davani was named head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation a few months after he survived a car bomb blast in Tehran in November last year.

Naming the three slain scientists, Abbasi-Davani said "some others are in their assassination list".

He added, without elaborating: "We strongly urge the IAEA to clear its name and reputation in co-operating and preparing the ground in these measures."

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

For several years, the IAEA has been investigating Western intelligence reports indicating Iran has coordinated efforts to process uranium, test high explosives and revamp a ballistic missile cone so it could take a nuclear warhead.

Last week it publicly said for the first time it was "increasingly concerned" about the reports. Iran has called the reports forged and baseless.

But its refusal to halt enrichment has led to four rounds of UN sanctions on the major oil producer, as well as tighter US and European Union restrictions.

Chu voiced particular concern about Iran's decision to move higher-grade uranium enrichment to an underground bunker near the holy city of Qom, a move that could offer more protection against any Israeli or US air strikes.

"Expanding, and moving underground, its enrichment to this level marks a significant provocation and brings Iran still closer to having the capability to produce weapons grade uranium," Chu said.

French Industry Minister Eric Besson told the meeting that Iran's nuclear programme "poses an unacceptable threat to the regime of non-proliferation and to regional stability".

Read more on:    iaea  |  iran  |  us  |  nuclear
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Canon EOS 600D

The Canon EOS 600D Digital Camera puts the widely respected...

From R5389.95

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.