UN to study Iran nuclear dossier before acting

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A deadline for Iran to prove that it was not building nuclear weapons expired yesterday. But the UN agency which imposed the deadline said that it would not take action as it was still analysing documents which were submitted on 23 October by Tehran.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), based in Vienna, gave Iran until 31 October to prove that its nuclear activities were for the generation of electricity. The US claims that Tehran is building a weapons arsenal.

Iran submitted a dossier to the IAEA containing information about its nuclear programme. Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the agency, said that it was unable to judge whether the country had complied with the demands because experts had not yet verified the report.

She said: "There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done."

Mark Gwozdecky, an agency spokesman based in New York, said that experts were matching information provided by Iran with evidence collected on the ground. "Iran says they've done what's called for under the resolution," he said. "While it looks comprehensive at first glance, we don't take anything at face value, and our people are in Iran visiting sites, interviewing personnel, taking samples. We're using satellite imagery, all with a view to coming up with our own independent conclusion on the accuracy of their declaration."

He said that the findings would be in a report which was issued to IAEA board members on 10 November.