Mohamed El Baradei
International Atomic Energy Agency Head Mohamed El Baradei said Wednesday that Iran had broken the law by not disclosing its second uranium enrichment site sooner.
Nevertheless, he said, the United Nations does not have credible evidence that Iran has an operational nuclear program.
“I do not think, based on what we see, that Iran has an on-going nuclear weapons program,” El Baradei told CNN’s sister station, CNN-IBN.
Iranian president meets with US newspaper editors, says his country's disputed nuclear program is a 'humanitarian issue'
“Whether they have done some weaponization studies as was claimed is still an outstanding issue. But I have not seen any credible evidence to suggest that Iran has an on-going nuclear program today. I hope they are not having one.”
El Baradei added that Iran was “on the wrong side of the law” for not informing the agency until last week of the existence of a covert nuclear facility.
“Iran was supposed to inform us on the day it was decided to construct the facility. They have not done that,” he said. “They are saying that this was meant to be a back-up facility in case we were attacked and so they could not tell us earlier on.
“Nonetheless, they have been on the wrong side of the law, you know in so far as informing the agency about the construction and as you have seen it, it has created concern in the international community.”
Iran claims its nuclear enrichment program is intended for peaceful purposes, but the international community accuses the country of continuing to try to develop nuclear weapons capability.
The newly disclosed facility is located on a military base near the city of Qom, about 100 miles southwest of Tehran, and is thought to be capable of housing 3,000 centrifuges, according to the officials and the IAEA.
US sources say that is not enough to produce nuclear fuel to power a reactor, but sufficient to manufacture bomb-making material.
Iran has said there is no nuclear material at the site. It announced Tuesday it will allow the IAEA to inspect the facility — but did not offer a timetable.
“But we need to go and impress on him that we need to go, our inspector needs to go and inspect the facility and establish the facts, to discuss with them,” El Baradei said.