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Aug 25, 1:42 PM EDT

IAEA: Iran provides sizable amount of info for nuclear probe


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AP Photo/Ronald Zak

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VIENNA (AP) -- Iran has provided a "substantive volume" of information to the U.N. atomic agency on allegations that it worked on nuclear arms, the agency's chief said Tuesday, but declined to characterize the value of the documents.

Yukiya Amano said it would be premature to say how useful the information given by Iran last week would be in the investigation being conducted by his International Atomic Energy Agency.

"We need to see the whole picture to have an assessment," he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the IAEA's 35-nation board, convened to seek approval - and funds - for the agency's assigned task of monitoring the July 14 Iran nuclear deal.

That deal between Iran and six world powers seeks to crimp Iran's present nuclear programs that could be turned to making nuclear arms in exchange for sanctions relief for Iran, and is formally separate from the IAEA probe of the suspected past weapons work.

But Amano must make a determination by Dec. 15 on whether or not the allegations are true for full sanctions easing to kick in, and has signed an arrangement with Iran that commits Tehran to cooperate with the probe.

Tehran has long described the allegations as based on false intelligence from the United States, Israel and other adversaries, and the arrangement is a test of whether the IAEA will be able to progress after nearly a decade of essential deadlock in trying to follow up on the suspicions.

While Amano refused to discuss what Iran has handed over so far, a diplomat familiar with the probe said that Tehran has provided more than 100 pages of documents and related material.

He said the information is a combination of documents the agency already is familiar with - meant to back up Iranian assertions that the accusations are lies - and new material that has yet to be evaluated.

The diplomat demanded anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss confidential information.

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