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UN Nuclear Chief Sees No Evidence of Iran Weapons Program - 2005-02-16


The head of the U.N. nuclear agency says there has been no evidence so far to support U.S. suspicions that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons.

In an interview with four U.S. newspapers, Mohamed ElBaradei called for greater U.S. participation in diplomatic efforts to engage Iran and North Korea in talks about their nuclear programs.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said he hopes the United States will support European diplomatic efforts to persuade Tehran to give up its uranium enrichment program. He made the comments in an interview with the Wall Street Journal Europe.

In London, visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Iran is only six months away from having all the information it needs to build a nuclear bomb.

Iran denies U.S. and Israeli reports that it is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran and Syria say they will form a united front to confront challenges and threats from other countries.

Syrian Prime Minister Naji Otri, who is in Tehran today (Wednesday), said the meeting of the two allies comes at a very important and delicate time, when both countries are facing numerous challenges.

Iran's vice president, Mohammad Reza Aref, told reporters that Tehran is ready to help Syria on all grounds to confront threats.

Iran has been under intense U.S. and European pressure to abandon its nuclear activities, while Washington has accused Syria of being a haven for anti-Iraqi insurgents.

Tuesday, Washington recalled its ambassador to Syria for consultations, a day after Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafik Hariri, was killed in a Beirut car bombing.

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