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Energy Secretary Chu On Iran's Nuclear Activities


U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu delivers a speech at the general conference of the IAEA, at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

"Iran has continued to engage in a long-standing pattern of denial, deceit and evasion, in violation of its non-proliferation obligations."

At the recent 151-nation General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency [the IAEA] in Vienna, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu rebuked Iran for repeatedly failing to live up to its international nuclear obligations.

"Iran has continued to engage in a long-standing pattern of denial, deceit and evasion, in violation of its non-proliferation obligations. Time and time again," said Secretary Chu, "Iran has refused to satisfy legitimate concerns about the nature of its nuclear program – selectively rejecting IAEA requests for access to, and information about its nuclear facilities."

Secretary Chu's remarks were made the week after IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told the IAEA Board of Governors that he was "increasingly concerned" about a possible military dimension to Iran's nuclear activities, "including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile."

Mr. Amano also noted that the Iranian government has moved centrifuges to a fortified, underground facility in Fordo, with the stated objective of producing uranium enriched to 20 percent, further contravening Security Council and Board of Governors resolutions.

In his remarks to the General Conference, Energy Secretary Chu said, "Pursuing this course raises serious questions over Iran's peaceful intent and its readiness to build confidence."

Quoting a message by President Barack Obama, Secretary Chu said the international community "must safeguard against any possible diversion or misuse of nuclear energy, whether by nations or terrorists, and ensure that nations that violate their obligations face consequences." The United Nations Security Council has already imposed four rounds of economic sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear activities. "Iran's government has a choice," said Mr. Chu. "It can comply with its obligations and restore international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear activities or it can face deepening isolation and international censure."

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