IAEA warns of 'concerns' over Iran nuclear plans

The U.N. nuclear watchdog has voiced growing concern over Iran's ability to build nuclear weapons, fuelled by recent public statements in the country, according to a confidential report seen by AFP on Monday.

Tensions between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have repeatedly flared since a 2015 deal aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear programme in exchange for sanction relief has been left in tatters.

In the report, IAEA head Rafael Grossi said that "public statements made in Iran regarding its technical capabilities to produce nuclear weapons" have only increased "concerns about the correctness and completeness of Iran's safeguards declarations".

In recent years, Iran has reduced its cooperation with the IAEA by deactivating surveillance devices for monitoring the nuclear programme and barring inspectors, among other measures.

Ahead of an IAEA board of governors meeting next week, Grossi reiterated his call on Tehran to "cooperate fully and unambiguously with the agen

"Only through constructive and meaningful engagement can these concerns be addressed," Grossi said in the confidential quarterly report.

Tehran denies seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

But statements by officials and politicians about the country's technical capabilities have strained an already fraught relationship, a diplomat source said.

EU-mediated efforts to revive the deal, which would have brought Washington back on board and Iran back into compliance, collapsed in the summer of 2022.

 Breaching limits 

Iran has significantly ramped up its nuclear programme in recent years and now has enough material to build several atomic bombs.

In a separate confidential report seen by AFP,...

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