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Questions raised over Iran's nuclear aims

Jan. 16, 2013 at 9:16 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The credibility of the work of U.N. nuclear inspectors in Iran may be undermined because they rely too much on foreign analyses, a former inspector said.

Members of the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived Wednesday in Tehran. The IAEA said meetings in late 2012 were constructive. Iran, however, denied inspectors access to the Parchin military complex outside of Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said early this week that Parchin is a military site and any activity there has "nothing to do with nuclear activities," reports Bloomberg News.

Iran is suspected of pursuing the technology needed to manufacture a nuclear weapon, an allegation the government denies.

Robert Kelley, a former IAEA inspector for Iraq, said inspectors weren't relying on their own evidence when assessing claims on Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"At Parchin, they appear to be merely echoing the intelligence and analysis of a few member states," he told Bloomberg.

Mehmanparast this week said the government was guided by a religious edict issued last year by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei that states nuclear weapons are a "sin."

Talks between Iran and six major world powers over Tehran's nuclear program are scheduled for the end of the month in Turkey.

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