File picture shows a view of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna
File picture shows a view of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna © Joe Klamar - AFP/File
File picture shows a view of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna
AFP
Last updated: February 10, 2014

IAEA: Iran detonators deal only a first step

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Iran's promise to clarify its use of detonators marks only an initial step by Tehran to address long-standing allegations of past nuclear weapons research, the UN atomic watchdog said Monday.

"This is the first step that is taking place now," International Atomic Energy Agency chief inspector Tero Varjoranta told reporters at Vienna airport after returning from Iran.

"There is still a lot of outstanding issues so now we are starting on the PMD," he said, referring to alleged "possible military dimensions" of Iran's nuclear activities, mostly before 2003.

On Sunday, Iran and the IAEA agreed a new seven-step plan to increase transparency, including a pledge by Iran to provide "information and explanations for the Agency to assess Iran's stated need or application for the development of Exploding Bridge Wire detonators".

These detonators, known as EBW's, can have "non-nuclear applications", noted IAEA said in a November 2011 report, but mostly they are used in weapons research and therefore Iran's stated development of the

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