VIENNA (Reuters) – The head of the U.N. nuclear agency said on Wednesday he saw "no radical change" in Iran's nuclear program in the past three months, broadly covering the period since relative moderate Hassan Rouhani became president.
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told Reuters in an interview that the Islamic state was continuing its most sensitive nuclear activity, enrichment of uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent.
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Amano also said Iran still had "quite a lot to do" in order to complete the Arak research reactor, a plant which is of deep concern to the West as it can produce plutonium, another potential atomic bomb fuel, once it is operating.
The IAEA is expected to issue its next quarterly report on Iran's atomic activities – a document that is keenly scrutinized by Western governments – on Thursday or Friday this week.
"I can say that enrichment activities are ongoing … no radical change is reported to me," Amano, a veteran Japanese diplomat, said in the interview in his office on the 28th floor of the IAEA's headquarters in Vienna.
Iran says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful and rejects Western accusations that it is seeking the capability to make nuclear weapons.
Rouhani, a pragmatist, took office in August promising to try to resolve the decade-old nuclear dispute and secure an easing of sanctions that have severely hurt Iran's oil-dependent economy.
(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)