Iran shrugs off nuclear concerns

TEHRAN, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Claims suggesting Iran is concealing nuclear research at its Parchin military complex outside Tehran are without merit, an Iranian nuclear leader said.

The Institute for Science and International Security published a report last week saying its assessment of satellite imagery of Parchin led it to believe parts of it were paved over ostensibly to hide nuclear activity.


U.N. nuclear inspectors were denied access to the site during recent visits to Iran. A report published Wednesday by the International Atomic Energy Agency said the type of work carried out at Parchin was indicative of "possible nuclear weapon development."

Ali Akbar Salehi, director of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, dismissed the claims.

"Radioactive material is nothing that can be concealed by asphalting or otherwise," he was quoted as saying Thursday by state-funded broadcaster Press TV.

Iran maintains its nuclear research program is intended for peaceful purposes. The government said last year U.N. nuclear inspectors had failed to convince it a visit to the Parchin military complex was necessary.

Two rounds of multilateral nuclear negotiations were held this year with few breakthroughs. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said he was open to further talks with European nuclear negotiators.


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