EU: Iran close to nuclear capability

Sept. 24, 2008 at 9:26 PM

VIENNA, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The European Union warned the U.N. nuclear watchdog Wednesday that Iran could soon have the capacity to make a nuclear weapon.

In an official warning to the International Atomic Energy Agency, EU officials said that Iran is likely to have the technical capability of arming a nuclear bomb, Voice of America reported. The statement, which was released to reporters and delivered to the agency's board, said that Iran's nuclear program appears to be aimed at acquiring weapons.

Israel and the United States have made similar statements. Iranian officials say that their nuclear research is for energy generation.

The warning on Iran came as North Korea barred the IAEA from its main nuclear facility.

John Swenson Wright, an expert on North Korea at Chatham House, a think tank in London, said North Korea's move is a "serious development." But he suggested that Pyongyang is trying to divide the other countries involved in the six-party talks and said it is important for the United States, South Korea, China, Russia and Japan to present a united front.

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