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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > February
Taken Questions
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 11, 2003
Taken Question from February 10, 2003 Daily Press Briefing

Iran's Nuclear Program (Taken Question)

Question: Did Iran inform the IAEA last May of their intention to restart a nuclear program?

Answer: Iranís intention to proceed with a light water power reactor at Bushehr, with Russian assistance, has been widely-publicized since January 1995. Iran is obligated to accept IAEA inspections of the reactor and safeguards on any fuel supplied for the reactor. However, as we have often stated, we believe Iran uses Bushehr as a cover and a pretext for obtaining sensitive technologies to develop its nuclear weapons program.

Iran did not inform the IAEA about recently disclosed nuclear facilities under construction at Natanz and Arak until after those sites were disclosed publicly last August by an opposition group. When complete, those facilities could help Iran produce weapons-usable fissile material. Moreover, Iran's apparent announcement of plans for uranium mining, uranium conversion and enrichment, and reprocessing spent fuel are troublesome. These plans stand in stark contrast to Iran's draft agreement that Russia will supply fresh fuel for the life of the Bushehr reactor and ship back to Russia the reactorís spent fuel. These plans for a complete fuel cycle clearly indicate Iran's intention to build the infrastructure for a nuclear weapons capability.


Released on February 11, 2003

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