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Fears rise over Iran’s nuclear ability

Associated Press / September 13, 2011

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VIENNA - The head of the UN nuclear agency yesterday announced plans to publish new information backing up his belief that Iran may be working on a nuclear warhead, developments that leave his organization “increasingly concerned.’’

It was the first time that Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, revealed plans to release some of the most recent knowledge available to the agency leading to such worries.

A diplomat familiar with agency affairs said Amano would seek permission from members providing intelligence on the alleged warhead experiments before sharing them with the agency’s 35 board member nations. Such new information probably would be detailed in the next report on Iran’s nuclear activities in November or could be shared with board members at a special closed session. The diplomat asked for anonymity in exchange for divulging confidential information.

In a separate development, Iranian state TV said the country’s first nuclear power plant has stepped up operations after years of delays. Senior Iranian and Russian officials attended celebrations for the official launch of the 1,000-megawatt Bushehr plant in southern Iran. It began to generate between 350 to 400 megawatts of electricity, equal to 35 to 40 percent of the reactor’s full capacity. The Russian-built plant was connected to the national power grid for a test run Sept. 4, generating 60 megawatts.

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