AN (AFP) - Iran has charged that Washington provided forged intelligence to the UN nuclear watchdog claiming that Tehran studied how to make atomic bomb, as world powers pressured the Islamic republic to resume talks on its nuclear drive.
Tehran will soon present to world powers a comprehensive package on issues including nuclear and economic cooperation as well as concerns about the proliferation of atomic weapons, an official was quoted as saying.
State news agency IRNA quoted a senior official on Saturday as saying the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been given documents by Washington that lacked credibility.
The government of the United States has not given authentic documents to the agency because it does not actually have any credible documents and all those documents are forged, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Tehrans envoy to the IAEA, said in a letter to the agencys chief Mohamed ElBaradei, IRNA reported.
Considering that there are no authentic documents on these alleged studies, there is no credible evidence of link between such forged claims and Iran... This issue should be closed.
In Washington, a US official said on condition of anonymity: These accusations are baseless. The IAEA itself accepted the material as credible.
State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly declined comment on the allegation.
We are still awaiting a meaningful response to the P5+1 offer from last April, and to our offer of engagement, he said.We have provided a path whereby Iran can become a full and respected member of the international community. It is up to Iran to make a decision as to whether it chooses that path.
While showing no sign of backing down in the dispute, Iranian officials have in recent days said Tehran is ready to hold talks and will soon present its own package, without making clear to what extent it addresses the nuclear row.
This is a comprehensive package about our dealings with other countries on international and regional problems including economic and nuclear cooperation and common concerns about the lack of achievement in disarmament, as well as security issues, Soltanieh said.
Issues concerning the use of nuclear energy and concerns about the proliferation of nuclear weapons...are included in this complete package and there will be comprehensive talks.
A defiant President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday Iran was ready for more sanctions and would not bow to pressure. No one can impose sanctions on Iran anymore. We welcome sanctions, he said.
Diplomats from the P5+1 and the European Union met in Frankfurt on Wednesday, urging Iran to accept their offer of direct talks.