Skooter reporting 05/26/12
Inspectors have found radioactive traces at an Iranian underground bunker, the U.N. atomic agency said Friday. The discovery that could mean Iran has gone closer to achieving the uranium doorstep needed to arm nuclear missiles.
In was reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency was asking Tehran for a full explanation. However, the report was cautious to avoid any suggestion that Iran was in reality increasing the level of its uranium enrichment, noting that Tehran said a technical glitch was the cause.
Analysts and diplomats who knew of the existence of the traces before publication of the confidential report also said the higher-enriched material could have been a accident involving centrifuges over-performing as technicians adjusted their output rather than a dangerous step toward building a bomb.
Still, the finding was certain to reverberate among the 35 IAEA board members for whom the report was geared up, among them the six world powers that had just completed talks with Iran on its enrichment activities. The negotiations in Baghdad left the two sides still banging their heads together over how to supervise Tehran's atomic program but determined to keep discussion going next month in Moscow as an alternative to possible military action.