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U.S., EU urge Iran to address unanswered nuclear questions

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Iran must cooperate quickly with international inspectors who are seeking to find out whether it has really declared its entire nuclear programme, the U.S. and the European Union (EU) demanded on Tuesday.

The issue was raised at a board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), one day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said IAEA inspectors had found nuclear material in a secret Iranian warehouse in Turquzabad, Tehran, which he informed them about last year.

Acting IAEA chief Cornel Feruta has not confirmed media reports and Netanyahu’s assertions about the findings, but he warned Monday that “time is of the essence” for Iran to clarify whether it has provided a complete picture about its nuclear activities.

“Let me say as clearly as possible, Iran must immediately provide the IAEA nothing short of full cooperation,” U.S. envoy Jackie Wolcott said.

Iran’s past nuclear weapons research heightens concerns about these latest developments, she said.

In a joint statement, EU countries also expressed concern about Feruta’s comments.

“We urge Iran to cooperate fully and especially also in a timely manner with the IAEA,” the statement said.

Neither the U.S. nor the EU claimed that Iran’s lack of cooperation breaches its 2015 pact with major powers, which has curbed Iran’s ability to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, in return for sanctions relief.

However, in response to Washington’s exit from the pact, Iran has surpassed key enrichment limits.

Iran’s most recent step to boost enrichment research “is inconsistent” with the 2015 pact, the EU said.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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