The IAEA believes a large explosives containment vessel has been built at the Parchin military site
Iran nuclear crisis
Iran failed to co-operate with UN nuclear officials during two sets of talks (hai vòng đàm phán) in Tehran over the past month, the UN’s watchdog (cơ quan giám sát) has said in a report (bản báo cáo).
The International Atomic Energy Agency said that Tehran had not cleared up questions (làm sáng tỏ các câu hỏi ) about possible military aspects (khía cạnh) of its nuclear programme.
The agency also said Iran had stepped up uranium enrichment in recent months.
In response (Về phía mình, đáp lại), Iran insisted it was co-operating with the agency but defended its right to a civil nuclear programme.
“Iran wants to keep talking with the IAEA to prove that its nuclear activities are peaceful,” said Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA.
The West suspects (nghi ngờ) Iran is seeking the technology to build a nuclear bomb and has placed sanctions (áp đặt cấm vận) on the country.
The IAEA document, which was issued to the agency’s members and leaked on the website of the Isis think tank, (trung tâm nghiên cứu) reported the findings (các kết quả tìm được) of UN teams who visited Iran at the end of January and in mid-February
Bethany Bell BBC News, Vienna
The stand-off over Iran’s controversial nuclear programme shows no sign of resolution (sự quyết tâm), according to the IAEA’s latest report. Western powers will be alarmed (lo lắng) at the news that Iran has sharply stepped up (đẩy nhanh) its sensitive uranium enrichment work, both at its main plant at Natanz, and at the underground site (địa điểm dưới mặt đất) of Fordo. The Fordo site, which is buried deep under a mountain, is well-protected (được bảo vệ kỹ lưỡng) against any potential military strikes by Israel or the United States.
There will also be concern about (sư lo ngại về) the lack of progress in talks between Iran and the IAEA. The IAEA said there were “major differences”, with Iran dismissing (bác bỏ) the agency’s concerns as “unfounded (không có cơ sở)”.
This report comes at a time of heightened tension (căng thẳng dâng cao) over Iran. Despite the tougher sanctions imposed on the country, Iran so far does not appear to be showing any signs of compromise (dấu hiệu nhân nhượng) with the West. It insists (khăng khăng, nhất quyết nói rằng ) its nuclear work is purely peaceful.
“As Iran is not providing the necessary co-operation (không đưa ra sự hợp tác cần thiết)… the agency is unable to provide credible assurance (sự đảm bảo đáng tin cậy) about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,” the report said.
“The agency continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions (chiều kích, tầm vóc quân sự ) to Iran’s nuclear programme.”
The agency has previously expressed fears that the Iranians were developing a military capability (khả năng quân sự ) with the help of a “foreign expert” at the Parchin site, south of the capital Tehran.
But the Iranians refused UN requests (từ chối các yêu cầu của LHQ) to visit the site and dismissed (gạt bỏ, bác bỏ) the agency’s concerns as “based on unfounded allegations (các cáo buộc)”.
In the report, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano urged Iran to “address (đáp ứng) the agency’s serious concerns… by responding to the agency’s questions related to Parchin and the foreign expert”.
The report also says Iran has increased the number of centrifuges used to enrich uranium and has stepped up (đẩy nhanh) production of uranium enriched to the higher level of 20%.
It says Iran is preparing to expand enrichment work at the Natanz plant and at the underground site at Fordo, near the holy city (thpo thánh địa) of Qom.
The White House issued a statement calling (tuyên bố kêu gọi ) on Iran to abide by (tuân thủ ) earlier UN resolutions demanding a halt to uranium enrichment.
“Iran has continued to pursue its uranium enrichment programme in violation of multiple (many) United Nations Security Council resolutions without demonstrating (mà không chứng minh được ) any credible or legitimate purpose for doing so,” said the statement.
“If it refuses to shift course (thay đổi con đường đang đi), its isolation from the international community will only continue to grow.”