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. Iran says IAEA report shows nuclear programme peaceful
TEHRAN, Nov 15 (AFP) Nov 15, 2006
Iran said Wednesday the latest UN watchdog report into its nuclear activities confirmed the peaceful nature of the programme, playing down the reported finding of plutonium, a possible weapons material.

"The report proves the Iranian nuclear activities are peaceful and there is no deviation seen towards military ends," Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told state radio.

Soltanieh dismissed the reported presence of traces of plutonium as "nothing new and not a special issue".

The IAEA report said the agency is investigating traces of plutonium, a possible weapons material, found in containers at a waste storage site at Karaj in Iran. It said is was now examining Iran's response.

Accusing foreign media of carrying misleading reports, Soltanieh added: "The report simply mentions that Iran has provided explanations about previously reported traces of plutonium.

"The report proves that the case will go on normally at the IAEA and this document shows that there is no justification for Security Council intervention or interference from any other organisation," he said.

A senior UN official told reporters, however, that the Iranian response had come too late to be analyzed before an IAEA meeting next week in Vienna that will review the Iranian nuclear programme.

The report also said full Iranian cooperation with IAEA's work "is a prerequisite for the agency to be able to confirm the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programme".

Iran insists its nuclear programme is peaceful, rejecting US accusations that its civilian energy drive masks a programme to make a nuclear bomb.

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