Is Iran trying to build a nuclear bomb?

The United Nations nuclear agency says Iran is planning to test a facility that could convert raw uranium into weapons-grade material. But the International Atomic Energy Agency report did not confirm whether Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb. Iran insists the only purpose of its nuclear programme is power generation. Tehran welcomed the report, which it said was a positive step towards demonstrating the peaceful nature of its nuclear project. The IAEA document said Iran wants to turn 37 tonnes of raw "yellow cake" uranium into uranium hexafluoride, publishes BBC NEWS. According to CNN, U.S. State Department official said the Bush administration still intends to work toward referring the matter to the U.N. Security Council for possible punitive action. A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency accepts that Iran may not have produced HEU (highly enriched uranium), a key ingredient needed to produce nuclear weapons. HEU contamination had been found at the Kalaye Electric Company and at the Natanz sites in Iran. "It appears plausible that the HEU contamination found at those locations may not have resulted from enrichment of uranium by Iran," the report said. Iran has maintained that the source of the contamination was not domestically produced HEU but rather imported equipment -- specifically centrifuge equipment it said it purchased from Pakistan in the 1990s. A UN report has failed to confirm US charges that Tehran is secretly developing nuclear weapons, but a top US official said Iran should still be brought before the UN Security Council as an atomic threat. The United States expressed great concern over a confidential report by the UN nuclear watchdog in Vienna, which said Iran will resume large-scale production of material to enrich uranium, a process that can lead to nuclear weapons. "We view with great concern the IAEA report that Iran is about to convert 37 tons of 'yellowcake' uranium into uranium hexafluoride gas, as well as Iran's recent announcement that it intends to test its gas centrifuges," John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security said in Washington, informs the Australian.

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