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Israel blasts IAEA’s reported shelving of Iran nuke report

JTA

February 28, 2014 | 9:33 am

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano in Vienna on Jan. 24. Photo by Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano in Vienna on Jan. 24. Photo by Heinz-Peter Bader/Reuters

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz criticized the International Atomic Energy Agency’s reported decision to shelve for now a report on Iran.

Steinitz’s criticism Friday was in response to a Reuters report that the agency decided not to publish a report it had prepared last year so as not to disrupt talks with Iran over its nuclear program.

According to Reuters, the contents of the report are unknown but may have included what the IAEA calls possible military dimensions, or PMD. In his statement, Steinitz said that postponing release of the report “does not appear to be a valid move.”

The task of the IAEA “is to expose to the international community any information regarding the military aspects of the Iranian nuclear program and not to shelve it out of considerations pertaining to diplomatic sensitivity,” said Steinitz, whose official title is minister of intelligence, minister of international relations and minister of strategic affairs.

“I call on the IAEA to complete and publish the report as soon as possible, precisely because of the importance of the PMD issue for a final agreement with Iran,” he added.

Iran struck an interim nuclear deal with six world powers in November, which Israel denounced as an “historic mistake” as it did not require Tehran to dismantle its uranium enrichment sites. The deal removes some sanctions in exchange for a rollback of some nuclear activity. Iran and the six nations — Germany, the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — are conducting talks on reaching a final agreement.

The IAEA’s dossier in November 2011 contained a trove of intelligence indicating past activity in Iran which could be used for developing nuclear weapons, some of which it said might still be continuing. Iran rejected the allegations.

The dossier helped Western powers step up the sanctions pressure on Iran, including a European Union oil embargo imposed in 2012.

The IAEA had no immediate comment to the Reuters report, the news agency said.

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