Iran insists IAEA fully informed of its nuclear dealings

Published on Feb 23, 2004 12:39 PM IST

Iran's foreign ministry said that it had fully informed the UN's agency of buying sensitive n-components in the black market.

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PTI | ByAgence France-Presse, Tehran

Iran's foreign ministry on Sunday stood by its assertions that it had fully informed the UN's atomic energy agency of its buying of sensitive nuclear components on the black market.

"What we have said from the beginning is that we have acquired some equipment from dealers, from brokers," said spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi.

But he asserted that Iran was not aware of which countries the components came from.

"We had reported this in due time to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," he asserted. "We have an honest cooperation with the agency."

His comments came in the wake of a report by Malaysian police on Friday that the former head of Pakistan's nuclear programme Abdul Qadeer Khan sold nuclear centrifuge parts to Iran in the mid-1990s.

"This is not new. It confirms what we have declared before," Asefi said, only saying the middlemen were from the Indian subcontinent.

Under pressure last year to account for traces of highly enriched uranium found by IAEA inspectors, Iran insisted the "contamination" entered the country on equipment that was bought on the black market.

The Islamic republic defended its operating through middlemen, saying it was merely trying to evade US sanctions and press on with its bid to generate nuclear energy and reduce its reliance on its oil and gas reserves.

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