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IAEA Voices ‘Serious Concern’ on Iran’s Nuclear Ability

The International Atomic Energy Agency released a report Monday stating that Iran's suspected research into nuclear weapons remained "a matter of serious concern." Analysts examine what actions the international community should take.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    The International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report yesterday that Iran may be withholding information from investigators that would establish whether or not the Islamic republic is continuing to try to develop nuclear weapons.

    The U.N. agency expressed serious concern over suspected Iranian nuclear weapons research and said Iran should provide substantive explanations to support its contention that it is not working on weapons.

    Of particular concern to the IAEA: a new generation of centrifuges that Iran is developing that were seen in photos released by the Iranians last month.

    Perhaps the more tangible threat from Iraq are its actions in Iraq, in supporting and arming Shiite militias. At a Senate confirmation hearing for his promotion to head of Central Command, David Petraeus, the top general in Iraq, told senators that Iran continued to be a destabilizing force in Iraq.

    But, contrary to the administration's stated refusal to engage Iran directly at high levels, Petraeus also said diplomacy should be a goal.

    GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, commander, U.S. forces in Iraq: However, we must also explore policies that over the long term offer the possibility of more constructive relations, if that is possible.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Whether those constructive relations are possible has roiled debate in the U.S. presidential campaign. John McCain and Barack Obama have had a running colloquy on the wisdom of diplomacy with Iran.

    McCain last week.

    SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), Ariz.: An ill-conceived meeting between the president of the United States and the president of Iran and the massive world media coverage it would attract would increase the prestige of an implacable foe of the United States.

  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Obama answered him, just hours later.

    SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), Ill.: Demanding that a country meets all your conditions before you meet with them, that's not a strategy. It's just naive, wishful thinking. I'm not afraid that we'll lose some propaganda fight with a dictator.