Iran rejects fresh US claim on atomic weapons work

Tehran, Nov 13 | Updated: Nov 14 2005, 05:30am hrs
Iran on Sunday dismissed fresh US allegations about its atomic ambitions as a bid to poison the atmosphere at a crucial meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog later this month. US officials said new evidence suggested Iran had made significant progress in what they call its secret pursuit of nuclear weapons, and that this strengthened the case for more international pressure on Tehran to end the programme. Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi rejected the allegations as laughable. The Americans are trying to pressure Iran by such a scenario, which has no value, he told a weekly news conference.

It is another fuss ahead of the IAEA board meeting to poison the boards atmosphere.

The International Atomic Energy Agency board meets on Nov. 24 to decide whether to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions after failing to convince world powers that its atomic ambitions are entirely peaceful.

The New York Times reported on its website on Saturday that senior American intelligence officials informed the IAEA in mid-July about the contents of what they said was a stolen Iranian laptop computer.

The US officials said the data, shared with the IAEA in recent months, was not definitive, but strongly suggestive that Iran had made significant advancement toward weaponisation.