US, Iran trade barbs at nuclear meeting

2011-09-19 19:01

kalahari.com

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

SHARE:

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

 
/Fashion
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Edgemead - 07:39 AM
    Road name: N7 Both Ways
    DELAYS approaching the Bosmansdam Road exit
  • Monday Cape Town - 07:39 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    STATIONARY VEHICLE on the side of the carriageway at Hospital Bend - DELAYS from Duinefontein Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. 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

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....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.