Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took issue Thursday with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that there is no evidence Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, asserting that Tehran has prevaricated about its nuclear activities. At the same time, she held out hope that the White House and the Kremlin might bridge their differences over U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in the heart of Eastern Europe.
“There’s an Iranian history of obfuscation and indeed lying” to international nuclear inspectors, Rice told reporters traveling on the plane with her to Moscow for meetings with Putin and other officials. “There’s a history of Iran not answering important questions about what is going on. And there is Iran pursuing nuclear technologies that can lead to nuclear weapons-grade material.” [complete article]
following intense negotiations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced in late August a new work plan reached with Iran, aimed at resolving all outstanding issues in Iran’s nuclear file by the end of the year.
The agreement was branded as “a significant step forward” by the Agency’s Director General, Dr Mohamed El-Baradei. It was also hailed as a move in the right direction by most of the 118 nations of the Non-Aligned Movement who have consistently recognised Iran’s right to a nuclear energy program. [complete article]