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US sure Iran develops nuclear program: newspaper
www.chinaview.cn 2004-02-03 01:23:56

    MOSCOW, Feb. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- A senior US official said that Washington is certain that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, Russia's daily newspaper Vremya Novostei reported on Monday.

    US Undersecretary of State John Bolton was quoted as saying in an interview with the paper that Tehran is pursuing a secret program, of which the International Atomic Energy Agency has never been aware.

    He said that there is enough evidence that Iran has the technical potential for creating nuclear weapons and urged Russia not to supply nuclear fuel to Iran as long as the problem persists.

    Washington has accused Iran of using its Bushehr nuclear power plant, which is under construction with assistance from Russia, asa cover to develop nuclear weapons and urged Russia to freeze the project.

    Despite the criticism from the United States, Russia has vowed to continue to fulfill the contract with Iran. However, it has said it would not ship any fuel for the Bushehr power plant until Iran signs a deal promising the return of spent fuel.

    Russia has also urged Iran to sign the additional protocol to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, which Iran fulfilled last December to meet the international community's expectations.

    Bolton urged Russia to make sure that Iran is not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons before launching a nuclear reactor in Bushehr.

    He asked Russia to take its time while the US is trying to discover Iran's true intentions.

    Bolton also talked about the search of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, claiming that Saddam Hussein's regime could have moved them to Iraq's neighboring countries, including Syria. He noted that US intelligence services had been informed about such information.

    The United States has made an official inquiry to the Syrian authorities, but has not received clear information on this account, he said. Enditem

    

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