Iran nuclear programme advances despite sanctions – IAEA chief

(Reuters) – Iran is making “steady progress” in expanding its nuclear programme despite international sanctions that do not seem to be slowing it down, the U.N. nuclear agency chief told Reuters on Monday.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), also said he remained committed to dialogue with Iran to address concerns of possible military dimensions to its nuclear activity. But no new meeting had yet been set after 10 rounds of talks since early 2012, he said.

“There is a steady increase of capacity and production” in Iran’s nuclear programme, Amano said in an interview.

Asked if tightening sanctions – imposed by Western powers to make the Islamic Republic curb its atomic activity – were slowing down Iran’s nuclear work, he said: “I don’t think so … I don’t see any impact.”

He spoke shortly after Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani pledged, during a news conference in Tehran, to be more transparent about Iran’s nuclear programme in order to see sanctions lifted.

But Rohani also said Tehran was not ready to suspend its enrichment of uranium, which the West fears is aimed at producing a nuclear weapons capability – something Iran denies.

By Reuters


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